Microsoft Blocks Windows 7 & 8.1 Updates On Current Generation AMD & Intel Processors
Posted on March 16, 2017 2:58 PM by Rob Williams
Have you upgraded to Intel’s Kaby Lake or AMD’s Ryzen, but still refuse to give up on Windows 7? Going forward, that’s going to become a bit of a problem, as Microsoft has said that it’s cutting off Windows Update support for such a configuration – one that also includes Windows 8.1.
In effect, this means that if you are running one of the newest CPUs and either Windows 7 or 8.1, Windows Update will refuse to update. You should still be able to upgrade straight to Windows 10, but as for those minor updates that get pushed through on regular occasion… those are a no-go.
This news was revealed through an addition to Microsoft’s Support website, noting that either AMD’s Bristol Ridge (mobile, Summer 2016 onward), or Intel’s Kaby Lake will be required to access updates. This does not mean that hardware older than this will be cut-off from Windows 10; it means the same hardware will be cut off from older OSes.
Interestingly, this doesn’t affect only x86 processors; Qualcomm’s ARM-based 8996 is listed as part of the new requirement as well, despite that being a very niche solution for the moment.
Windows 8.1 has mainstream support until Jan 2018
Naturally, Microsoft tells us that the solution here is to update to AMD’s Bristol Ridge or Ryzen, Intel’s Kaby Lake, or Qualcomm’s 8996. There’s no word on whether updates are being blocked right this very moment, but if they continue to work for you, don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and see that they no longer do.
One thing that’s really strange about this move is that Windows 8.1 still has active mainstream support, lasting until January 9, 2018. How Microsoft could withhold updates on this OS regardless of hardware, while it’s still actively supported, is puzzling, to say the least. Windows 7’s mainstream support ended in 2015; its extended support expires in 2020, and would apply only to critical security updates.