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Microsoft will be blocking Windows Update from working on Windows 7 & Windows 8.1 for PCs with newer CPUs as reported by DSOGaming.

The issue is detailed on a support page detailing the specific error that would come up if a user encountered this particular situation. It states that the newest generation of processors – Intel’s 7th generation Kaby Lake CPUs, AMD’s “Bristol Ridge”, and Qualcomm’s “8996” – requires that the end-user have Windows 10 installed. The support page’s recommended resolution for users encountering this issue is to upgrade to Windows 10.

MakeUseOf reports that Microsoft had detailed some of their reasoning for this change in a blog post in January of 2016. They emphasize that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will continue to receive updates on older-generation processors until January 14, 2020 and January 10, 2023, respectively. They state that continued support for the older operating systems would “introduce churn” into the support periods for the older operating systems and break their stated commitment to reliability on those platforms.

However, as PCWorld reports the party may not yet be over. Some people are still able to update their PCs with the newer CPUs that are running the older operating systems. Considering the existence of the support page and the details stated in the blog post talking about older versions of Windows & compatibility with newer processors it seems that it is only a matter of time before this won’t be possible any longer. The support page addressing this particular issue was published last week, so it looks like this change will probably be coming sometime soon.

Quick Take

I don’t buy Microsoft’s statements about allowing “deep integration” with the latest tech or any of that nonsense. They pulled the same act with Halo 2 and Windows Vista – although it was only officially available on Windows Vista, it was entirely possible to run it on Windows XP as it didn’t actually require DirectX 10. After being jerked around with reduced user settings, advertisements installed in the operating system, and now this revelation, I can’t view this as anything other than a cynical push to force people onto their latest operating system, like it or not. Perhaps Microsoft should focus on developing a decent operating system and supporting it for a long time rather than unnecessarily reinventing the wheel every couple of years. (I’m looking at you, Windows 8.)

What do you think of Microsoft blocking Windows Update from running on newer CPUs for Windows 7 & Windows 8.1? Do you think this is the correct decision for them to make considering that the newer CPUs are officially unsupported on these operating systems or do you think that users should be able to make updates at their own risk? Let us know in the comments below!

Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!

  • Alex Barbu

    I get them not wanting to support newer CPUs on their old OSes. They want to focus on creating this unified Win10 platform and have everyone on it. I’m fine with that.
    But there is no reason to deny security updates to users of their older operating systems that happen to have an unsupported CPU. As long as the update is not hardware dependent, it would make no difference in the work Microsoft has to put in.

  • I understand it, but I strongly disagree with it. Microsoft is sitting on a mountain of cash. They absolutely could offer support, I just think that they just don’t want to because they want people to buy their new OS.

  • Passing Through

    Now Windows 7 and 8 users will get to experience what it’s been like for XP users since 2014. Not necessarily the hardware lockout, but more specifically climate of FUD and mockery that comes with choosing to use one of the older operating systems.

    Ironic, too, given that Windows 7 was the one to dethrone XP as the most widely-used Windows OS just before Microsoft EOL’d XP.

    At any rate, for those fans of Windows 7 and 8 who want to keep the OS viable for as long as possible, I recommend checking out MSFN. It’s a community of OS hobbyists who make a point of keeping the older Windows systems current, even in the face of things like this.

    People at MSFN created DLLs that allow Windows 9X and ME to run modern apps, they’ve made custom service packs for 2000 and XP. I’m certain they won’t let a hardware lockout like this stop them from getting updates for 7 and 8.

  • Alex Barbu

    With all the ad experiments they’ve done with Win10 I can’t help but wonder if maybe they want to try a business model more similar to what Google did with Android. Make Windows either free, or dirt cheap.
    For that to work for them, they’ll probably have to unify their user base as much as possible. Right now I don’t think they have enough Win10 users to push ads to and make a profit.

  • vonSanneck

    at around 25% of all OS’ installed on desktops, not enough.

  • BurntToShreds

    Microsoft probably got tired of the people on W7 and W8 who constantly refuse updates and never send crash reports, then get pissed at MS when their PC starts acting up. “You’ve been using an old patch of W7 for the last two years out of sheer refusal to update and then cru to us about how our OS is broken? Well then, let’s see how you like it when you aren’t even able to get a new CPU.”

  • FlamingoJet

    Here come the whiners.

  • fire lion

    MS knows we are too lazy to make Linux popular.

  • jaygerbomb

    See, I really wanted to believe MS had finally changed and turned over a new leaf under Satya Nadella but they’re just as anti-consumer and controlling as ever, if not worse. I’m glad I don’t rely on Windows for anything serious other than running my main gaming rig. And since i can stream that to my laptop running Fedora or my Steam Link, I only log into it maybe once a month.

    I just hope native Linux gaming one day gets to the point that I can run everything in Linux without having to stream from Windows or use wine.

  • jaygerbomb

    I don’t know if lazy is the right word, more like apathetic or maybe even don’t know any better. Most people just want to browse the net, send email, write the occasional Word doc, etc. Those kind of people are never going to ask for a different operating system when they buy a new computer, and they’re definitely not going to download one, wipe out Windows and install it themselves.

    And the hardware vendors don’t care enough to offer choices, because it’s too much effort to support multiple OSes.

  • Michele

    I think that everytime MS (or any company) push their new product with shady tactics (forced or tricky updates, fake reason to justify limitations, ect.) they should be fined for x% of their income, cumulative.