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March 17, 2017

Windows 7, 8.1 users with newer Intel, AMD CPUs will soon lose Windows Update

by John_A

Why it matters to you

If you’re running an older version of Windows with a newer CPU, Microsoft is about to make it very difficult for you to avoid upgrading to Windows 10.

It seems that Microsoft is preparing to implement a new strategy to convince PC users with systems that utilize certain processors to upgrade to Windows 10. PCs running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 that are fitted with newer CPUs will soon be unable to receive updates via Windows Update.

Confirmation that this previously announced policy will soon take effect came via an article recently published to Microsoft’s support website. The troubleshooting guide helps users respond to an error that reads, “Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows,” when they attempt to use Windows Update.

Intel’s Kaby Lake processors and AMD’s Ryzen line will be among the CPUs that require users to upgrade to Windows 10, according to a report from Ars Technica. When Microsoft first announced this policy, Skylake processors were also set to be affected, but the company changed its mind, making an announcement in August 2016.

More: AMD presses its advantage with affordable Ryzen 5 processors, available April 11

The only recourse given by the support article is to update the system to Windows 10. Microsoft is giving users a very clear decision to make; either upgrade to the latest version of Windows, or run the risk of falling behind on essential security updates.

Of course, support for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 is going to be discontinued eventually — the former version is already in extended support, which means that it only receives security fixes. However, enforcing this policy demonstrates that Microsoft is prepared to be aggressive as it attempts to get as many Windows users as possible to upgrade to Windows 10.

The company’s previous methods of convincing users to make the jump have upset some, and this policy is sure to ruffle feathers as well. At present, there are reports that Windows Update is still functional for users working with older version of Windows and newer CPUs, but the fact that support documentation has already been published suggests that this new restriction will soon be enforced.

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