Microsoft suspended updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users with Intel’s 7th generation (Kaby Lake) processors, AMD’s 7th generation (Bristol Ridge) processors, and Qualcomm’s 8996 processor or newer.
Microsoft has confirmed the move, saying: “This error occurs because new processor generations require the latest Windows version for support”. Windows 7 left mainstream support in January 2015, meaning Microsoft is only liable for security updates to the OS at present.
PC builders hoping to upgrade their CPU may just have to consider upgrading their version of Windows to Windows 10 if they haven’t already. With Windows 10 Creators Update merely weeks away, the company is trying to use every means possible to get people away from older versions, especially Windows 7, which still dominates the PC world with more than 40% market share.
Have you upgraded to Intel’s Kaby Lake or AMD’s Ryzen, but still refuse to give up on Windows 7?
However, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs running these new CPUs will not scan for updates or download them from Windows Update. There does not appear to be any technical reason for the restriction, other than Microsoft’s statement that these processors aren’t supported. Microsoft first announced in January 2016 that it would support only new silicon with Windows 10 and older operating systems would be restricted to older processors. The hybrid device was initially expected to be powered by Intel’s seventh generation Kaby Lake CPU but now that AMD has unveiled its Ryzen 7 lineup, things have changed.
It’s a move that looks created to force users of the newer hardware to update to the latest version of Windows, as not doing so will leave their software open to security threats.
This is because the chips are newly released that most motherboard makers are still aggressively pushing for regular updates. Any business that has a Windows Enterprise license with Software Assurance can install Windows 10 as part of their licensing rights, and the overwhelming majority of Kaby Lake systems in the market were sold with Windows 10 licenses; restoring that operating system won’t incur any additional cost. While Ryzen gives you a chance to buy a strong processor on a much lower budget than Intel, it looks like it will also incur a gaming performance penalty.