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By | Richard Chirgwin 18th January 2016 07:02

Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

Yes, you can run Windows 7, but only on hardware fit for Windows 10

In a stunning example of consensus-building, Microsoft has somehow persuaded the big names of silicon that it would be better for all concerned if they quietly euthanize Windows 7 and 8.1.

Accordingly, Redmond, Intel, Qualcomm and AMD have occupied the same room without injury long enough to promise that future products like Kaby Lake (Intel), 8996 (Qualcomm) and Bristol Ridge (AMD) will not be sullied with Windows 7 or 8.1 code.

Windows 7 is already getting put on a nil-by-mouth diet: it gets “security, reliability, and compatibility” support for older silicon until January 2020 (2023 for 8.1).

After 2017, Microsoft's post states, security fixes will only be released if they don't pose a risk “reliability or compatibility”.

The Terry Myerson-authored blog post says for Windows 7 to function, “device drivers and firmware need to emulate Window's 7's expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states.

“As partners make customisations to legacy device drivers, services, and firmware settings, customers are likely to see regressions with Windows 7 ongoing servicing” (we suspect the post could have withstood more rigorous editing).

Picking out the gems so you don't have to, El Reg was particularly struck by this part of the post:

In clarifying this policy, we are prioritizing transparency with enterprises on where to find the highest reliability and best supported Windows experience: Windows 10 on any silicon, Windows 7 on the down-level silicon it was designed for, or a device on the support list.

OEMs also formed into well-ordered, obedient ranks, with Lenovo, HP (the one that likes to have Inc after its name) and Dell all politely providing canned quotes for the announcement.

Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer / We'll keep the upgrades rolling here. ®

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