Last year, Microsoft announced that 7th gen CPUs from Intel and AMD would only be officially supported on Windows 10, with future processors to specifically require the latest operating system for Redmond. This came after Microsoft changed its support policy for 6th gen Skylake processors for Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs, which will now receive critical security updates until 2020 and 2023, respectively.
However, while it's still possible to run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on a PC with the latest processors from Intel and AMD (you just won't have optimized drivers for the new processors), a recent support article from Microsoft suggests that Windows Update will soon be blocked on those systems (via Ars Technica). Indeed, the company explains in the article that these users will see an error message saying that "your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows and you won’t receive updates." Here is what the support page says about the cause of the error:
This error occurs because new processor generations require the latest Windows version for support. For example, Windows 10 is the only Windows version that is supported on the following processor generations:
- Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors
- AMD “Bristol Ridge”
- Qualcomm “8996"
Because of how this support policy is implemented, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update.
It's still not clear yet if Microsoft has already started to enforce this policy, but it's clear that Windows 10 will soon be the only way to go if you have a PC with a 7th gen processor. Not only will you have better performance and reliability thanks to official drivers, but you'll be guaranteed to receive all security fixes and major Windows 10 updates such as the upcoming Creators Update.
Will you be affected by this new support policy, and do you think it could push Windows 10 adoption going forward? Let us know in the comments if you think Microsoft is doing the right thing.