Microsoft has released an announcement that will take effect regarding the Windows 10 platform, with the goal to push more users to upgrade from previous iterations.
“Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon. Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming 14nm Kaby Lake silicon, Qualcomm’s 14nm MSM8996 silicon (Snapdragon 820 SoC), and AMD’s upcoming 28nm Bristol Ridge APU silicon.”
In short, according to Terry Myerson (Microsoft Executive Vice President), upcoming processors are going to drop support for Windows 7, 8.0, & 8.1 in order to focus solely on Windows 10. The reasoning behind this is largely for the fact that the older OS architectures were designed prior to mainstream adoption to SoC (System on Chip) architectures; meaning that windows has to virtually create features that no longer exist in current motherboards, which leads to complications the further back you go with performance and security.
“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.”
Now to re-iterate, this is only regarding the chips starting with the ones stated above. As it currently stands, cpu’s that are already available, including Skylake, will follow the same support map that Microsoft has already established. Unless we’re told otherwise down the road, Windows 7 will be supported until Jan. 2020, and Windows 8 will be supported until Jan. 2023. By that point, there would be little reason to use current or older chips as they would be very obsolete; so those looking to build new systems may as well ensure they get their hands on Windows 10 to stay up-to-date.
Now for those who are hesitant or resistant about changing to Windows 10 because of privacy concerns, as a personal recommendation I have included a helpful link on steps you can take to disable the Asimov telemetry system. Additionally, you can also use TotalDefense’s PrivacyShield utility (free) to set things up for you. If you’re not comfortable with touching OS settings, then at least not using “Express” settings during set up will give you some options to turn things off – especially “Send typing and inking data to Microsoft to improve the recognition and suggestion platform.”