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Microsoft backtracks on Windows 7 and 8.1 Skylake support

Back in January, Microsoft announced future processors would only be supported by Windows 10, meaning those still using Windows 8.1 and 7 were fresh out of luck come 2017.

The move would have meant that, as early as next year, Windows 7 and 8.1 users with machines running Skylake processors would not receive updates – while those running older processors would.

Many saw it as yet another bold attempt by the company to coerce customers into upgrading to Windows 10.

Come March, Microsoft decided to respond to the backlash by adding an extra 12 months onto the support period for Skylake systems.

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Windows 7

And now it seems the firm has decided to make yet another conciliatory move and extend the deadline again, according to an update to its ‘silicon support policy‘.

This time, however, it’s decided to go all the way and extend support until 2020 for Windows 7 and 2023 for Windows 8.1.

That means security, reliability, and compatibility support will remain in place for both those operating systems until the new deadlines, although Microsoft says only the most critical updates will be made available, and only if they are deemed compatible.

As the update explains: “This change is made possible through the strong partnership with our OEM partners and Intel who will be performing security update validation testing and upgrade testing for 6th Gen Intel Core systems running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 through the end of support dates.

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windows 8.1Windows 8.1

“This change is designed to help our customers purchase modern hardware with confidence, while continuing to manage their migrations to Windows 10.”

While the change will undoubtedly be welcomed by many users yet to upgrade to Windows 10, it does not mean future processors will be supported.

Those that want to stay on Windows 8.1 or 7 and upgrade to Intel’s upcoming Kaby Lake chips or AMD’s 7th generation processors are out of luck and will have to make the move to Windows 10.

However, it remains unclear whether ‘only supported on Windows 10’ means that these older operating systems will not receive updates or that they will flat out not run the software.

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What do you think of Microsoft’s latest move? Let us know in the comments.

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