PC Buyer Beware!

Will Windows 10 soon only run on upcoming Intel and AMD processors?

Windows 10 will soon only run on upcoming Intel and AMD processors

The vast majority of desktop and laptop PCs run on processors (CPUs) made by Intel and AMD.

Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 have extended security support from Microsoft to January 14, 2020 and October 1, 2023, respectively, but, according to Microsoft, only if they are not running on the upcoming Intel’s Kaby Lake and AMD’s Bristol Ridge processors (CPUs). Moreover, PCs using Intel’s current processors, code-named Skylake, were originally given 18 months notice – until July 17, 2016 – to upgrade to Windows 10 Home, Pro or Enterprise editions. However, that deadline has been increased by a year to July 17, 2018. The previous generation of Intel processors, code-named Broadwell, and earlier generations of Intel processors will continue to be able to run Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1.

Latest news on this topic:

Microsoft begins denying updates to some Windows 7 users [April 14, 2017] –

“Microsoft this week began blocking Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs equipped with the very newest processors from receiving security updates, making good on a policy it announced but did not implement last year.”

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3189957/windows-pcs/…

Extends support for Windows 7 and 8.1 on Skylake-powered PCs by one year, to July 2018 [March 16, 2016] –

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3046032/windows-pcs/…

For your information, the Windows Device Manager identifies the processor a PC is using under its Processors heading. If that information is not sufficient to identify it, there are several free tools that identify PC hardware, such as the Belarc Advisor. After the CPU has been identified, use the name as a web-search query to find out what its code-name is.

Most home users buy a desktop or laptop PC and then continue using the version of Windows that it came with, which will be Windows 10 on new PCs, so this apparent state of affairs, which goes against the support policies that Microsoft has been using for decades, won’t affect most people, but it will definitely affect businesses, most of which take their time to upgrade to a new version of Windows, because staff are trained to use the version being employed and it works well.

Microsoft is very keen on getting as many Home, Pro and Enterprise users of Windows 7 and 8.1 to migrate to Windows 10. To the extent that Windows 10 is free until July 29, 2017 and some Windows 7 and 8.1 users that have hardware that Windows 10 supports have been upgraded to Windows 10, by Windows Update online, automatically, that is, without their consent. I have a laptop that is 8 years old that I upgraded successfully to Win10, so Microsoft has gone out of its way to make Win10 work on as many elderly PCs as possible.

More to this than meets they eye, as usual?

As usual, there is more to this announcement from Microsoft than meets the eye. It is very difficult to avoid being misled by governments and big business these days. Spin and deception is the name of their game. People in the know say that upcoming processors won’t require windows 10, that is not wholly true, Windows 10 is required to use all of features of the new upcoming processors from Intel and AMD. In short, you will be able to downgrade a new desktop or laptop PC from Windows 10 to Windows 7 and 8.1, but the new CPU features won’t work.

It is the computer-motherboard manufacturers that provide the UEFI BIOS and the device drivers that support different versions of Windows. For example, you won’t be able to buy a new motherboard that supports Windows XP because the motherboard manufacturers no longer provide the device drivers that run the motherboard’s chipsets. Therefore, it is unusual for Microsoft to announce that only Windows 10 will be able to run on upcoming processors and that Intel Skylake processors will only be able to do so until July 2017. We will have to wait to find out what those manufacturers and Intel and AMD have to say about this.

Remember that you can only transfer a retail-licensed copy of Win7 and Win 8.1 on to a new PC, not an OEM-licensed version that brand-name PC manufacturers supply, because an OEM version can only ever be installed on one computer. Even if the motherboard is changed to a different make or model on that one PC, it requires a new licence. A retail copy of Windows can be installed on as many PCs as the user likes as long as it is only being used online on a single computer at any one time. If it is installed on more than one, it falls foul of Microsoft’s Product Activation.

Skylake users given 18 months to upgrade to Windows 10 –

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/01/…

The following forum thread discusses the implications of this new state of affairs.

Microsoft: New CPUs will require Windows 10 –

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2460762