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Microsoft blocks Windows 7 and 8.1 updates for Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen systems

By Koh Wanzi - on 17 Apr 2017, 11:15am

Microsoft blocks Windows 7 and 8.1 updates for Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen systems

Microsoft has previously announced plans to limit software support for the latest processors to Windows 10, and it’s finally making good on its plans. Late last week, users who were still running Windows 7 and 8.1 began reporting that their Windows updates were being blocked if their systems were equipped with the new Intel Kaby Lake or AMD Ryzen processors.

This means that these systems can no longer receive security updates from Microsoft, and users are exposed to more and more vulnerabilities if they do not move on to Windows 10.

Microsoft first announced its intention to cut off support in January last year, coupled with some tweaks a few months later. In short, Windows 10 will be the only OS to continually support new processors, while Windows 7 and 8.1 will support older processors for a while longer (support for upcoming processors will no longer be added).

Users running the latest processors on older operating systems have begun to see this message when attempting to update. (Image Source: Ars Technica)

One odd point is the support for Intel’s 6th-generation Skylake processors. Not all Skylake systems will be supported on Windows 7 and 8.1, and Microsoft has released a list of 16 OEMs that ship Skylake systems that will continue to get updates.

Unfortunately, other Skylake systems will reportedly need to upgrade to Windows 10 to stay updated.

The rationale behind Microsoft’s move is easy enough to understand. Naturally, it wants to encourage adoption of its flagship OS, but there’s also the fact that the new CPUs introduce features and capabilities that are not supported on the older OSes. For instance, Windows 7 lacks support for USB 3.0 and NVMe.

That said, Windows 8.1 is still in its 5-year mainstream support period, during which Microsoft is supposed to release a full suite of updates. Ending support for new processors on Windows 8.1 then feels a little premature, and users are perfectly justified in feeling that Microsoft did not live up to its commitment to offer full support for that period.

Source: Tech Report