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Microsoft won’t support older versions of Windows on new processors

Over the last few generations of Windows, Microsoft has continued to offer up support for the latest processors from both AMD and Intel. However, that is set to change as Microsoft has revealed that future processors will only be supported on Windows 10, the company will also be dropping support for Skylake on older operating systems in 2017.

In an official post on the Windows blog, Microsoft explained that while designing Windows 10, it has been working with partners to ensure the OS takes full advantage of new silicon: “throughout the design of Windows 10, we’ve been working closely with our silicon partners, including Intel, AMD, NVidia, and Qualcomm, on collaborative engineering to ensure Windows 10 takes full advantage of new silicon features.”


The post goes on to say that Microsoft is particularly proud of the work it has done in collaboration with Intel to take advantage of Skylake on Windows 10: “Compared to Windows 7 PC’s, Skylake when combined with Windows 10, enables up to 30x better graphics and 3x the battery life – with the unmatched security of Credential Guard utilizing silicon supported virtualization.”

“Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SOCs existed. For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7’s expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states- which is challenging for WiFi, graphics, security, and more.”

Going forward, those looking to build a Windows PC with a new generation CPU will also need to be adopting Microsoft's latest offering. However, Skylake owners may also need to upgrade at some point too:

“Through July 17, 2017, Skylake devices on the supported list will also be supported with Windows 7 and 8.1. During the 18-month support period, these systems should be upgraded to Windows 10 to continue receiving support after the period ends.”

KitGuru Says: This is a pretty big change for Microsoft to make, especially given how popular older versions of Windows continue to be. Are any of you still running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1? Are you planning on upgrading to Windows 10 at all? 

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