Microsoft Suspends Win 7/8.1 Updates For Intel Kaby Lake, AMD Ryzen CPUs

Microsoft Suspends Win 7/8.1 Updates For Intel Kaby Lake, AMD Ryzen CPUs


Microsoft has made true on their earlier promise to not support the popular Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on the latest generation of Intel and AMD processors.

Confirmation that this previously announced policy will soon take effect came via an article recently published to Microsoft's support website. The first is straightforward: "Unsupported Hardware [.] Your PC uses a processor that isn't supported on this version of Windows and you won't receive updates". These processors include the Bristol Ridge, or Ryzen, from AMD; the Qualcomm 8996; and Intel's seventh-generation Kaby Lake chips.

As you might expect, the only solution according to Microsoft is to upgrade to Windows 10.

Systems with older hardware should still be receiving updates. It's noteworthy that Microsoft's official mainstream support for Windows 7 expired in January 2015, but the company has obviously not convinced a majority of users to upgrade.

The new Microsoft Surface Pro is expected to carry the latest Intel Kaby Lake processor chip, but there are rumors that it might be replaced with one of AMD's new architecture chips. That's a pretty tough pillow to swallow for those that still want to cling on to Windows 7 (for whatever reason), and is likely a move that won't sit well with many consumers and businesses.

An error message could also appear in the Windows Update window, warning users that their device has encountered, "an unknown error". As such, the tech giant decided that only Windows 10 would run on the processors that were of the seventh generation and beyond.

Microsoft announced the new-silicon support limitation in January 2016, when it said making Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 run on the latest processors was "challenging".

Word of a new Microsoft support document surfaced Thursday, applying the stick to those bold enough to try and pair an older Microsoft OS with the latest silicon. We know that Broadwell isn't, after all; Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake parts both beat Broadwell in a wide range of games. And the problem is exacerbated by the company's messaging via Windows Update.

In addition to the potential anti-trust issues, it will also mean that old computers become increasingly less useful to those who are least able to pay for new machines and new operating systems.

  • Terrell Bush