We already knew Microsoft was planning to offer official support solely for Windows 10 on the new Intel and AMD CPUs, but it seems the company is planning to go to great lengths to ensure these chips aren’t used with older versions of the OS.
A new Knowledge Base article suggests the firm will essentially block Kaby Lake and Ryzen processors from running with Windows 7 or 8.1.
It seems Microsoft will not provide Windows updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 on any computers running on these new processors.
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It’s a move that looks designed to force users of the newer hardware to update to the latest version of Windows, as not doing so will leave their software open to security threats.
According to the update, users of the new hardware will see an error message whenever they try to scan or download Windows updates, which reads “your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows”.
In the Knowledge Base article, the company says: “This error occurs because new processor generations require the latest Windows version for support.”
It goes on to explain that Windows 10 is the only Windows version that is supported on the following processor generations:
- Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors
- AMD “Bristol Ridge”
- Qualcomm “8996″
It was previously thought that earlier versions of Windows would have some form of compatibility issues with the new CPUs, but the lack of support from Microsoft means there will also be major security concerns to consider for users.
It should be said that the Knowledge Base article doesn’t say explicitly that Microsoft will follow through with this plan. As the article states:
“Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh-generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update.”
“May” certainly suggests a level of ambiguity here, and InfoWorld, which initially brought the update to light, points out that the new policy doesn’t appear to have been implemented yet.
Of course, it could be that Microsoft doesn’t follow through with this attempt to bring users onto its latest OS – at this point it’s all very unclear.
Let us know what you think of the latest developments in the comments.