17 January 2016

Muck Ficrosoft

It's clear that since the clusterf%$# that was Windows 8, Microsoft has been running scared.

Now, it appears that they will be doing their best to cripple earlier versions of their operating systems with the current hardware:
Soon, when you buy a new PC, it won't support Windows 7 or 8. Microsoft has announced a change to its support policy that lays out its plans for future updates to its older operating systems, and the new rules mean that future PC owners with next-generation Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors will need to use Windows 10.

It's not usual for old PCs to fall short of the minimum requirements of a brand new operating system, but in this case, the opposite is happening. Microsoft and its partners will not be putting in the significant work necessary to make new hardware work with older versions of Windows. The old operating systems, at best, will merely lack the latest updates. At worst, they might not function properly.

Policy starts with Intel's current processors, Skylake

"Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support," Microsoft notes in a blog post published on Friday. "Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel's upcoming 'Kaby Lake' silicon, Qualcomm's upcoming '8996' silicon, and AMD's upcoming 'Bristol Ridge' silicon."

This new policy doesn't mean that Windows 7 and 8.1 are no longer supported in general. The two operating systems will continue to get updates through January 14, 2020 and January 10, 2023, respectively. But that's only if you're using hardware that was contemporaneous with those operating systems.

For current PC owners, the detail to note is that Intel's current, sixth generation processors, known as Skylake, are the first that won't support either of the older versions of Windows. (Intel and Microsoft say that the platform and Windows 10 were designed for each other.) Microsoft is phasing in the policy now.
When juxtaposed with Microsoft's attempts to move to software as a service, it's yet another reason to move to Linux.


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