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MS to Ditch Support for Win7, 8 on Newer PCs Next Year


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by John Lister on January, 19 2016 at 07:01AM EST

In a move surely to upset many users, Microsoft has said it will be ditching support for Windows 7 and 8.1 on most new PCs. Some other PCs will lose support next July, earlier than many expected.
The change is to do with the Skylake micro architecture for processors released by Intel in August 2015. Many PCs purchased recently will be running Skylake, as will most in the future.
Until now, Microsoft had promised to offer extended support for Windows 7 until January 2020 and for Windows 8.1 until January 2023. Extended support means Microsoft continues to fix bugs and issue security updates, but only offer telephone support as a paid service.
Microsoft says it will continue to support Windows for all processors previous to Skylake. However, for those running Skylake, only a select list of devices will get the extended support for Windows 7 and 8.1, and even then only until July next year. (Source: theverge.com)

Most New PCs Will Be Windows 10-Only

Other Skylake devices won't get any support for systems before Windows 10. The same will apply to the next generation of processors from other manufacturers, including AMD. Although Microsoft announced the changes in the context of the business market, it appears the support policy will affect consumers as well.
According to Microsoft's Terry Everson, the decision is based on "our commitment to deliver security, reliability, and compatibility to our installed base on their current systems. Redesigning Windows 7 subsystems to embrace new generations of silicon would introduce churn into the Windows 7 code base, and would break this commitment." (Source: windows.com)

Technical Issues Unclear

It's a highly unusual move to say the least. For example, it makes perfect sense that Microsoft cannot always support the newest edition of Windows on older PCs. However, in this case, the exact opposite is true. So why can't a newer machine run an older operating system, especially if the hardware is backwards compatible?
The move raises questions about how much the decision is based on genuine technical issues and how much is an attempt to push more users, particularly businesses, to upgrade to Windows 10. The latter is most important to Microsoft, as the free upgrade deal for Windows 10 only applies to single-license copies rather than for business networks (such as Enterprise Editions of Windows 10).


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I believe this doesn't mean they won't support Windows 7 or 8.1 but they won't support it on the Skylake micro architecture. Current Skylake and previous will be supported until the promised dates. In other words you won't be able to purchase or install Windows 7 or 8.1 on any PC after that date.

Thats my take on the announcement

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