Microsoft recently announced that they will be ending support for Windows 7 & 8 in a push to get users to move on to Windows 10. The support will only end for new hardware. This means that computers based on the latest processors from Intel, AMD, or Qualcomm will need to be running Windows 10 or else they will not receive updates or security patches.
In the past, Microsoft would provide 10 years of support for each new operating system. So why is Microsoft throwing out 31 years of Windows tradition? To put it simply, the new processors will not work correctly with older versions of Windows.
Microsoft gave a more complicated answer on their blog, “Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SOCs existed. For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7’s expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states- which is challenging for WiFi, graphics, security, and more. As partners make customizations to legacy device drivers, services, and firmware settings, customers are likely to see regressions with Windows 7 ongoing servicing.”
For the older processors, Microsoft will continue support for Windows 7 through January 14, 2020 and for Windows 8.1 through January 10, 2023. To see a full list of end of support dates click here.
Businesses and organizations will be hit the hardest by this news. It is more difficult for businesses to update to new versions of operating systems because of the high costs and large amount of systems that need updating. They are generally slower than regular consumers to move on to new operating systems and they greatly rely on the usual 10 years of support.
Microsoft’s announcement has been met with a lot of backlash. One tech writer said, “This is Microsoft building a guaranteed upgrade for Windows 10. In other words, this is more of the same: Microsoft pushing customers to Windows 10 by any means necessary.”
Microsoft’s goal is to have 1 billion computers running Windows 10 by 2018 (so far, they are at 200 million). They had recently announced plans to upgrade some devices automatically and they continue to bother other users with constant “Upgrade to Windows 10” pop ups.
Microsoft seems to be oblivious to their angry customers. They ended their blog with this, “We are committed to helping our customers embrace the latest innovation, enabled by the significant leap forward in silicon innovation combined with Windows 10, and delivered on incredible hardware. Our long-standing support of our partners and the ecosystem has never been stronger, as we all share strong optimism for the road ahead.
If you have questions about upgrading to Windows 10 or if you need advice on how to proceed with your business technology, please give us a call at 806-350-8324.