MS to Ditch Support for Win7, 8 on Newer PCs Next Year

John Lister's picture

In a move surely to upset many users, Microsoft has said it will be ditching support for Windows 7 and 8.1 on most new PCs. Some other PCs will lose support next July, earlier than many expected.

The change is to do with the Skylake micro architecture for processors released by Intel in August 2015. Many PCs purchased recently will be running Skylake, as will most in the future.

Until now, Microsoft had promised to offer extended support for Windows 7 until January 2020 and for Windows 8.1 until January 2023. Extended support means Microsoft continues to fix bugs and issue security updates, but only offer telephone support as a paid service.

Microsoft says it will continue to support Windows for all processors previous to Skylake. However, for those running Skylake, only a select list of devices will get the extended support for Windows 7 and 8.1, and even then only until July next year. (Source:

Most New PCs Will Be Windows 10-Only

Other Skylake devices won't get any support for systems before Windows 10. The same will apply to the next generation of processors from other manufacturers, including AMD. Although Microsoft announced the changes in the context of the business market, it appears the support policy will affect consumers as well.

According to Microsoft's Terry Everson, the decision is based on "our commitment to deliver security, reliability, and compatibility to our installed base on their current systems. Redesigning Windows 7 subsystems to embrace new generations of silicon would introduce churn into the Windows 7 code base, and would break this commitment." (Source:

Technical Issues Unclear

It's a highly unusual move to say the least. For example, it makes perfect sense that Microsoft cannot always support the newest edition of Windows on older PCs. However, in this case, the exact opposite is true. So why can't a newer machine run an older operating system, especially if the hardware is backwards compatible?

The move raises questions about how much the decision is based on genuine technical issues and how much is an attempt to push more users, particularly businesses, to upgrade to Windows 10. The latter is most important to Microsoft, as the free upgrade deal for Windows 10 only applies to single-license copies rather than for business networks (such as Enterprise Editions of Windows 10).

What's Your Opinion?

Is Microsoft right to change its support policy in this way? Will the news affect your PC purchasing plans? Is this another sign of Microsoft going too far in its attempts to get all Windows users running Windows 10?

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Dennis Faas's picture

This policy will surely upset many users. For those who keep saying they're going to jump ship if forced to run Windows 10: it's time to make that final decision.

In all fairness, Windows 10 isn't so bad - minus all the hardware incompatibilities. Windows 10 can be configured to run similar to Windows 7 or 8 with Classic Shell's Start Menu, plus you can disable the Windows 10 spying with Spybot anti-beacon. Combined, both programs make for a very decent Windows 10 experience.

alan.cameron_4852's picture

It is not clear from your article which PCs will no longer be supported.
As I understand it pre-Skylake processors will continue to be supported.
How is the average consumer to know what Intel version of processor they have fitted in their PC. My main machines use a Core i7-4930K processor, will they continue to be supported? Where can I get more detail about this?

S.Rost_4855's picture

Alan, I run my business on one Win7 laptop and a Win8.1 laptop as backup. My business is data-processing for the Direct Mail community and it took almost forever for the software Publisher to approve Win8.1. I know nothing about processors, but know the ones I have are older processors; I don't care as long as the jobs get done. As for extended support; I have N*E*V*E*R called MS for anything...ANYTHING...since Win3.1; so why now? This is a pure GREED move by MS to force Win10 down people's throats and then they're in the clear; or so they believe. This is the move of true Tyrants! I am not happy, though need to stay with my mailing software; so will be asking the Publisher if it will run on a different OS as last I knew, they had not approved Win10. MS is run by Tyrants!

f58tammy's picture

Short answer is no your processor in not a Skylake. Here is a article that list the Skylake processors.

Dennis Faas's picture

You are running Skylake if:

a) you've purchased the computer after August 2015, and

b) you download CPU-Z and look at the Code Name and it says Skylake

If you want a second opinion, look at the processor name in CPU-Z, then do a search in google for: "processor name specifications" and it should also tell you the micro architecture - where processor name is the name of you processor.

S.Rost_4855's picture

Let me get this straight; I am NOT a hardware expert! I use the Software for what it is intended for; some call me a Power User. What do they know.
My concern is, though Dennis Faas writes that Win10 is not so bad; how can this be true? Every release of Infopackets includes something negative about Win10...every time! Something missing, something not installed properly, AntiVirus errors and a full pot of other maladies; all related to Win10. Dennis, I understand you're entitled to your opinions, but so are we.
Following on the heels of Win7, came Win8 and Win8.1; it was a disaster at first till Win8.1. Now, we're facing the same type of disaster with Win10 and with all the negative tidbits you've written, you say that this isn't bad once one gets beyond certain deficiencies an whatever? Am I hearing you correctly? How long before Win10.1 followed by Win10.15?
Greedy people, such as MS, deserve a one way trip to Lake Wobegone where all is beautiful, all the time with Powder Milk Biscuits...then the dreams of every right thinking individual will be realized. Till then, the MS types will wreak havoc on us all because of their greed.

Dennis Faas's picture

To be completely honest with you, most of the questions I receive are a new spin on old problems. They are similar problems from previous editions of Windows, but in the Windows 10 era. Yes, some Windows 10 problems are work-arounds because of Windows 10 bugs, but those bugs should be squashed with upcoming releases.

beach.boui's picture

Computers were supposed to make our lives easier... better. Microsoft has caused more misery for more people than would a nuclear Holocaust.

DLStoehner's picture

What about those of us running with an AMD processor? My computer is failrly new, just has an AMD processor.

Dennis Faas's picture

As stated in the article, the same will apply to next-generation AMD processors and Qualcomm processors. The website states: "Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming “Kaby Lake” silicon, Qualcomm’s upcoming “8996” silicon, and AMD’s upcoming “Bristol Ridge” silicon." So if you buy a processor with that microarchitecture, you will be affected.

blueboxer2's picture

This isn't quite clear. Suppose my Win7 laptop dies but I salvage the hard disc. Does that mean that I can't buy a new laptop with an Intel, AMD or Qualcomm processor and replace the hard disc with my salvaged one, because the processors physically won't support my Win7 disc? Or are they saying that if you buy those among a choice of newlaptops that have these CPUs and install an older Windows on them but need support, Microsoft won't offer it?

Or if all the major CPU makers are conspiring to support a Microsoft monopoly, what are Apple, 'nix and other owners going to do? Will teehre be no new machines they can buy?

I think that maybe some panicky - or deliberately misleading - statements are being bandied about here and considerable clarification is need.

Dennis Faas's picture

As stated in the article: "Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel’s upcoming “Kaby Lake” silicon, Qualcomm’s upcoming “8996” silicon, and AMD’s upcoming “Bristol Ridge” silicon."

In other words: if you place your old hard drive which contains Windows 7 into a next-gen system, it won't be supported.

blueboxer2's picture

I short if Microsoft find you trying to use an old (but perfectly legal) copy of Windows on a new machine, they will not support it (eg. provide updates or whatever is still supported on an earlier machine)

It raises questions about what you do if your original machine breaks or is stolen (but you have an image backup)and need a new machine to continue using it.

Given the greed level, why doesn't Microsoft just abandon the OS business now?

normrubin's picture

I've wondered about that same scenario, since I run several old Thinkpad laptops with new SSDs and recent image backups (with Macrium Reflect - sorry, Dennis!). Most of them are now running W10 quite smoothly, though one spare is currently sidelined with WXP and one with W6=Vista.
But my understanding is that if I EITHER stuck one of those W10 SSDs in a new modern laptop OR restored its image to a new modern laptop, I'd almost certainly end up with a doorstop, regardless of MS extended support. First, I'm guessing that my old HDD's/SSD's/image's DRIVERS would crash on my new computer, so I'd be unlikely to see anything on the screen, or be able to input anything with my kbd or trackpad or trackpoint or touchscreen (which doesn't exist on my old laptops)!
Plus, all laptops seem to come with OEM versions of Windows anyway, and those licenses are tied to the Motherboard, NOT the HDD! So even if the new computer ran, MS shouldn't be supporting it without me using its new Windows (and transferring individual files and folders from the old image), or making me buy another copy of Windows.
Am I missing something?