Microsoft made headlines early last year when it announced that users of Intel Skylake (and newer) processors, would need to run Windows 10, as support would be dropped on older versions of Windows. After that initial announcement, there wasn't much additional news related to the story. That is until last fall, when Redmond's most notable company told us that it was backtracking on the idea. That was a relief to many users, but unfortunately, it was only a temporary one.
It didn't take long for another issue to arise, when it was revealed that those restrictions would go into effect with Intel's Kaby Lake and AMD's Ryzen processors. And today, Microsoft has finally dropped the hammer.
This news probably isn't a surprise to everyone, as it hit the Web last week when the new limitations began to affect some users. Now, users of Windows 7 or 8.1, on either AMD Ryzen or Intel Kaby Lake processors, will see a message like the one below.
This is unfortunate for anyone wanting to use modern hardware on an older version of Windows, but as we pointed out in detail in September, there are some good reasons for it. Both AMD and Intel offer architectural benefits with their latest generation of processors that older versions of Windows can't take advantage of without sapping Microsoft's resources, so it makes sense that Microsoft would want to shift all of its efforts to its current OS, rather than keep on supporting nearly deprecated ones.
What's most unfortunate about this move is the fact that it'll be security updates not getting pushed out to users, so we're essentially seeing the sun finally set on Windows 7, as we did with Windows XP years ago. Still, Microsoft refusing to issue mere security patches might not sit well with Windows 7 (or the very few 8.1) fans.
Here's where things become really murky. By refusing to issue patches to Windows 8.1 users on modern hardware, Microsoft is technically going against its official support terms, which has 8.1 mainstream support lasting until next January (2018). Apparently, that promise never counted towards users of unreleased (at the time) hardware.