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By | Simon Sharwood 21st February 2016 23:15

Microsoft hoses down Windows Server hardware support change fears

Redmond looks like it's scared the horses with its PC hardware support changes

Microsoft's issued an interesting post in which it says it is making no changes to hardware support for Windows Server.

Hang on there Reg! Why are you reporting a post that says nothing is changing?

The answer, dear readers, is that back in January Microsoft announced it would not support Windows 7 and 8 on new CPUs. The effect of that change is to just-about-herd-users to Windows 10

Users haven't reacted well to that edict, rather reasonably seeing as it deprives them of choices.

El Reg suspects that a few have therefore asked if Microsoft plans to do the same with Windows server, as the post above kicks off by stating “Over the past several weeks, the Windows Server team has received a number of inquiries regarding certification and support for certain hardware platforms.”

Microsoft's answer is nothing changes. Or as the post puts it, “... Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 will transition to extended support on 1/10/2018. Per our policy we would allow new system submissions for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 to continue up to this date, including the forthcoming Intel Xeon E3 (Skylake) family of processors.”

In other words, Windows Server users aren't being herded to new hardware, or to Windows Server 2016 or to Azure.

And a good job too, because asking users to mess with their PC fleets means a lot of work. Asking users to mess with their server fleets is inflicting business-halting and very expensive projects upon customers. Ergo this somewhat odd, but also re-assuring, Microsoft post.

Microsoft probably has only itself to blame for the need to emit such a post. The Windows hardware support changes are blatantly cynical. Satya Nadella's Microsoft may be embracing Linux and the cloud enthusiastically and sincerely, but Microsoft remains utterly unafraid of muscling PC-makers and, through them, users when it suits its strategy. So while nothing's changed for now, Windows Server users surely know the time will come when Microsoft makes it plain that an upgrade will be all-but-required. ®

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