Starting with Windows 10 May 2020 update, Microsoft is officially retiring support for 32-bit processors for new PCs. According to the updated minimum hardware requirements document spotted by a Twitter user @TeroAlhone, Microsoft is changing the minimum hardware requirements to run the upcoming version of Windows (in this case Windows 10 version 2004) to 64-bit. More specifically, going forward, OEMs will no longer have access to the 32-bit builds of the OS for future devices.
"Beginning with Windows 10, version 2004, all new Windows 10 systems will be required to use 64-bit builds and Microsoft will no longer release 32-bit builds for OEM distribution. This does not impact 32-bit customer systems that are manufactured with earlier versions of Windows 10; Microsoft remains committed to providing feature and security updates on these devices, including continued 32-bit media availability in non-OEM channels to support various upgrade installation scenarios," the company noted.
Furthermore, Microsoft says that users can still purchase the 32-bit version of Windows 10 at retail, and it will continue to provide the latest updates to the existing 32-bit PC that are running Windows 10. So, you can still use your 32-bit devices as long as they remain usable. However, as pretty much all new PCs now come with 64-bit processors, it wouldn't be surprising if Microsoft made Windows 10 a 64-bit only OS at some point.
According to Microsoft’s support document, both customers and OEMs should go for 64-bit devices to ensure the best user experience. Some other hardware requirements for Windows 10 May 2020 update include at least 1 GB RAM for 32-bit systems and 2 GB RAM for 64-bit PCs. In addition, both architectures require at least 32 GB storage.
The Windows 10 May 2020 update is expected to launch in the last week of May, and Slow Ring and Release Preview Ring Insiders already have access to the final build. Rumors suggest that the first production devices will likely get the update on May 28.