Sad news, older versions of Windows are going to extinct in near future because soon, when you buy a new PC, it won’t support Windows 7 or Windows 8. Microsoft has announced a change to its support policy that lays out its plans for future updates to its older operating systems, and the new rules mean that future PC owners with next-generation processors of Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm will need to use Windows 10.
It’s all to do with recent advancements in silicon technology and software code, Microsoft says: rewriting the code in older OSes to take advantage of new hardware innovations is apparently too laborious and inefficient at this stage. For Microsoft and its hardware partners, getting everyone on the same page is the ultimate goal. Microsoft said working closely with the silicon partners, including Intel, AMD, NVidia, and Qualcomm, on collaborative engineering to ensure Windows 10 takes full advantage of new silicon features.
Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform for next-generation processors, Kaby Lake (Intel’s next gen 14 nm processors), Snapdragon 820 (Qualcomm), and Carrizo (AMD).
Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon. For example, 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 – – said by Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group in blogpost
Why Next-Generation Processors Only Compatible with Windows 10
Microsoft reported that with new 6th generation Intel Core processors, code named “Skylake”, Windows 10 enables up to 30x better graphics and 3x the battery life – with the unmatched security of Credential Guard utilizing silicon supported virtualization. This shows that next-generation processors are working better with Windows 10 compared to Windows 7 PC’s.
For users who want a new Skylake machine that’s compatible with earlier versions of Windows, Microsoft will be publishing a short list of computers that will be supported until July 2017. If these PCs are not upgraded to Windows 10 before then, only “the most critical security updates” will be released for these devices.
That means any Skylake-powered computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 after that date may be exposed to an increasing number of security vulnerabilities – or it may not function correctly at all. “Companies of any size interested in upgrading to Windows 10 should contact their Microsoft technology representative today for assistance,” says the blog post.
Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 running on older, pre-Skylake silicon is another matter. Windows 7 machines will get all the crucial “security, reliability and compatibility” updates until January 2020; for Windows 8.1, that date is extended to January 2023. This new announcement only applies to older software on the newest hardware.
Companies and consumers, of course, can still buy older PC hardware that doesn’t utilize Intel’s Skylake platform or other modern CPUs — the last generation of supported Intel processors are known as Broadwell, and those chips are still widely available.
The policy change not only makes Microsoft’s hardware partners happy they no longer are on the hook to develop as many costly software updates for past versions of Windows but it also helps Microsoft push adoption of Windows 10.