“To achieve the highest confidence in the performance of our AMD Ryzen desktop processors, AMD validated them across two different OS generations, Windows 7 and 10,” said AMD with respect to Ryzen support. “However, only support and drivers for Windows 10 will be provided in AMD Ryzen desktop processor production parts.” Intel’s stance on the matter pretty much mirrors AMD’s comments.
Microsoft is taking the drastic step of shutting down ALL access to Windows Update for Ryzen and Kaby Lake processors running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. This isn’t a matter of just missing out on driver updates to fully support the latest generation of processors on older operating systems — we’re talking about a complete blackout of Windows Update on all fronts. No product updates, no security updates, nada.
As pointed out by the Dark Side Of Gaming, Microsoft updated its support pages on March 9th, 2017 to reflect this policy change. Users running Ryzen or Kaby Lake on these unsupported operating systems will see one of the following two messages when attempting to use Windows Update:
Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows and you won’t receive updates.
Windows could not search for new updates
An error occurred while checking for new updates for your computer.
Code 80240037 Windows Update encountered an unknown error.
Microsoft then provides the following “cause” for the error messages:
This error occurs because new processor generations require the latest Windows version for support. For example, Windows 10 is the only Windows version that is supported on the following processor generations:
- Intel seventh (7th)-generation processors
- AMD “Bristol Ridge”
- Qualcomm “8996"
Because of how this support policy is implemented, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update.
As you might expect, the only solution according to Microsoft is to upgrade to Windows 10. That’s a pretty tough pill to swallow for those that still want to cling on to Windows 7 (for whatever reason), and is likely a move that won’t sit well with many consumers and businesses.
It is also a bit perplexing to some considering that mainstream support for Windows 8.1 does not end until January 9th, 2018 (mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on January 13th, 2015). Extended support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 end on January 14th, 2020 and January 10th, 2023 respectively.