For years, Microsoft has been providing its desktop operating systems with long-term support even for older platforms. However, that will soon be over as the software giant changes its hardware support policy and says that new processors will only be supported on their latest desktop operating system, Windows 10.
'Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,' wrote Windows and Devices Group Executive Vice President Terry Myerson in the company's official blog. "Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel's upcoming 'Kaby Lake' silicon, Qualcomm's upcoming '8996' silicon, and AMD's upcoming 'Bristol Ridge' silicon."
The company on Friday had announced that it will be ending support for its operating systems that are older than Windows 10 on newer chipset platforms. This means that the software giant's unified Windows 10 will only work on chipsets including Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake, AMD's upcoming Bristol Ridge, and Qualcomm's soon to release 8996.
While personal computers with newer generation chipsets would usually mean better performance or support, the opposite proves to be the case for Windows 10. Microsoft and several of its partners aren't planning on working out the necessary steps to ensure that their new hardware would be fully compatible with older versions of Windows. However, it's also important to note that while the old operating systems may work, they will lack the usual updates and might not function properly.
The new hardware policy would not mean that it's the end for the company's Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Windows 7 will still receive updates through Jan. 14, 2020 and Windows 8.1 through Jan. 10, 2023. Nevertheless, that will only apply for users that have hardware supporting both operating systems.
On the side of the enterprise, Microsoft says that it will be keeping a list of systems with Skylake approval guaranteed to support Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 through July 27, 2017. The 18-month grace period will be given so that those in the segment will be able to have ample time to buy modern hardware before it implement the changes that would arrive with Windows 10.