Microsoft has previously confirmed that Windows 7 is not going to reach end of life until 2020 which means that most users who are still running this operating system have almost a couple of years before they absolutely must upgrade from Windows 7. However, some users with machines that have Pentium 3 processors are now finding out that Microsoft is seemingly dropping Windows 7 support for their PCs.
Microsoft is reportedly dropping Windows 7 support for some PCs powered by Pentium 3 processors because the chip doesn’t support the SSE2 technology which allows for single instruction multiple data. This technology is supported by the Pentium 4 and later processors and now happens to be a pre-requisite for Windows operating systems.
This was first spotted in the known issues for the March Windows 7 monthly security patch which mentioned a stop error that occurs on computers which don’t support SSE2. Microsoft initially said that it would resolve the matter through an upcoming update but has now updated its changelog to confirm that users have to “Upgrade your machines with a processor that supports SSE2 or virtualize those machines.”
It has been almost two decades since the Pentium 3 processors were released and they were likely unable to work with the security patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Microsoft possibly decided against developing a fix due to that and this means that those machines will now be without security patches.