Microsoft says that devices powered by the latest chips will not support older versions such as Windows 7 and 8
New PCs will only be able to run Windows 10 as Microsoft is working with its hardware partners to ensure their latest chips don’t work with older versions of the operating system.
Intel, AMD and Qualcomm have all agreed to ensure that devices with the latest silicon only support the latest Windows software.
Microsoft is keen to phase out older editions, such as Windows 7 and 8, as it is ultimately aiming to have Windows 10 installed on over a billion devices worldwide, with over 200 million active devices already running the software.
“Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,” a Windows blog explained. “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.”
However, this doesn’t mean that Microsoft is ditching Windows 7 and 8 entirely, instead preferring to focus on gradually upgrading customers dependent on those systems to Windows 10 over time.
The company says it will be delivering a number of specific new devices running Intel’s Skylake silicon that will be supported to run Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
Windows 7 will also continue to receive security, reliability, and compatibility support until January 14, 2020, with Windows 8.1 receiving the same support to January 10, 2023. This includes most of the devices available for purchase today by consumers or enterprises.
“This approach ensures our customers can upgrade now to new devices their employees will love while preparing for a Windows 10 upgrade,” Microsoft says.
“We are committed to helping our customers embrace the latest innovation, enabled by the significant leap forward in silicon innovation combined with Windows 10, and delivered on incredible hardware.”