It's official – upcoming processors from both Intel and AMD will only have official support on Windows 10. PCWorld has obtained statements from Microsoft, Intel, and AMD confirming that that upcoming Kaby Lake and Zen processors will not be certified to work with Windows 7 or 8.1, as well as the reasoning behind it.
While not officially required for the system to boot, there are drivers and changes within Windows that must be present to fully accommodate new hardware. Microsoft has adamant to get as many users on Windows 10 as possible, even after the year-long period of free upgrades expired last month.
However, without official support, various errors and problems can arise. Full acceleration on the integrated GPU may not be possible, power saving features may not activate, and thread scheduling may be sub-optimal.
PCWorld asked Microsoft why they were choosing to cut support. “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.” , Microsoft said.
The responses from Intel and AMD also indicated that they had no plans to add support separately from Microsoft. This will leave system builders upgrading to newer processors as well as OEM’s with no choice other than Windows 10 if they want to stay on Windows, and want up-to-date
Many users and businesses are reluctant to switch to Windows 10 due to policies of forced upgrades and privacy concerns. Microsoft’s latest 1607 Update to Windows 10 made changes that attempt to thwart changes to Cortana as well as locking it into Bing.
Intel’s Kaby Lake will launch by the end of the year. Kaby Lake will be an improvement to Skylake but without a node shrink nor significant architectural changes. AMD’s Zen is a completely new architecture and will release in 2017.
What do you think of Microsoft's decision? Will this make you look into Windows alternatives or upgrade to Windows 10? Share your thoughts in the comments below!