New Processors and Microsoft

Sara Johns Blog, Computers and Networking

Bigger Better and Faster processors are just around the corner

Intel and AMD’s new processors – Are you ready for them? Microsoft is.

For all of you PC users looking forward to the new Intel processors Kaby Lake and AMD’s Bristol Ridge, make sure you have Windows 10 installed. Any Windows OS older than 10 will not work with them. So why would Microsoft do this? Microsoft said: “Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon.”

intelWhen a processor can focus on just one platform, i.e. Windows 10, it will create a deeper link between the hardware and software. For Intel processors Skylake version and newer running Windows 10, you will get 30x better graphics and 3xs greater battery life compared to Windows 7. While they believe in their operating systems 100%, Microsoft states Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago. They would like to focus on their improved newer technology and moving forward.

So here’s the technical stuff. Microsoft will be providing some support for new processors on older Windows versions. It is going to create a list of specific current-generation Skylake devices that will retain support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 until July 17th 2017. The deadline ends three years before the official end of Windows 7 support on January 14, 2020, and six years before the end of Windows 8.1’s life on January 10, 2023, though. After that date, only “critical” security fixes will be issued, without a guarantee they’re fully compatible with the system. Microsoft advises that Skylake systems be upgraded to Windows 10 within the 18 months. Processor ranges launched in 2016 won’t be supported by Windows 7 or 8.1 at all.

What does this mean for you? As an individual, not much. When you buy a new computer, it will have to have the newest processors and OS.  If you buy an older OS with the new processors installed, you can always upgrade. Hopefully Microsoft will extend it’s free upgrade for the new processor launch. This change will impact businesses the most. When you purchase a replacement computer or laptop for your employee, you don’t want to give them old technology. After this announcement though, companies might have to. Not all companies can afford to upgrade their entire network’s OS. The support they talk about is not just help desk questions. It includes security updates. When the security of one computer is at risk, all other computers in that network are at risk.  Sign up to be emailed a list of specific current-generation Skylake devices that will retain support for Windows 7 and 8.1. If you have any questions about equipment upgrades and their compatibility to your current network, please contact us.