Microsoft: next-gen processors only supported by Windows 10

Microsoft announced an upgraded support policy for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers in which the company details support for next silicon generations such as Intel's Kaby Lake, Qualcomm's 8996 or AMD's Bristol Ridge.

In essence, devices with these processors will not be supported by previous versions of the Windows operating system but only by the "latest", which at the time of writing is Windows 10.

There you have it, another thumbscrew for Windows customers who prefer previous versions of Windows over the current version.

Obviously, there is justification for the policy change:

Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SOCs existed. For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7’s expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states- which is challenging for WiFi, graphics, security, and more. As partners make customizations to legacy device drivers, services, and firmware settings, customers are likely to see regressions with Windows 7 ongoing servicing.

While Microsoft mentions Windows 7 explicitly, it makes no mention as to why it is limiting support on Windows 8.1.


Windows 7 is on extended support which means that the operating system will only receive security fixes and other important updates, but no feature updates.

The same cannot be said for Windows 8.1 however, as the operating system is still supported, and very similar in most regards to Windows 10.

To accommodate Enterprise customers, Microsoft has created a special program for Skylake devices. It has created a list of Skylake devices it will support to run Windows 7 and windows 8.1, but only for the next 18 months.

The main idea behind the move is to provide Enterprise customers with options to upgrade their PC infrastructure right now, but give them time to upgrade to the Windows 10 operating system.

So, new PC hardware right now, Windows 10 later.

PC World has published a short list of devices that Microsoft will support:

  • Dell Latitude 12
  • Dell Latitude 13 7000 Ultrabook
  • Dell XPS 13
  • HP EliteBook Folio
  • HP EliteBook 1040 G3
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T460s
  • Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
  • Lenovo ThinkPad P70

The list includes only business devices, and no consumer devices.

What it means

There are Windows 7 and 8.1 devices out there with Intel's Skylake processor already. The question that should come to mind is if the move will affect these systems in any shape or form.

The short answer is that it likely won't affect those systems. Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices powered by Intel's Skylake processor won't just stop working right now or after the 18 months grace period.

This affects support more than anything else though, as PCs with a Skylake process and previous versions of the Windows operating system won't be supported officially by Microsoft, that updates released by Microsoft are not guaranteed to be compatible either, and that Windows Update won't provide drivers for new processors and associated chipsets.

It is likely that most Windows users won't notice a difference at all, and the move seems to be more of a scare tactic by Microsoft to continue its push to Windows 10.

Now You: What's your take on this new development?

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Microsoft: next-gen processors only supported by Windows 10
Microsoft announced policy changes in regards to next generation processors and support on previous versions of Windows yesterday.
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Responses to Microsoft: next-gen processors only supported by Windows 10

  1. juju January 16, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    does this new word "skylake" stand for a "cloud". Maybe rainbows are used to siphon and funnel riches from the sky into pots of gold on the ground?

    • Corky January 16, 2016 at 10:56 am #

      Skylake is Intel's latest CPU.

      • juju January 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

        I know that it's a label for a piece of hardware. I'm more interested in encryption and cryptology that is being used. Cloud is like a lake in the sky right? in other words sky lake - SKYLAKE. Of course there are no lakes in the skies, just like there are no piles of wood in log cabin republicans HQ. It's more like log processing, log analyzing, log collecting, log storage. In other words CIA/NSA headquarters.

      • Lindsay January 17, 2016 at 2:25 am #

        This being the internet, I regret that I cannot tell whether you're being serious or just joking. If it's the latter (as I hope), good show!

      • Lindsay January 17, 2016 at 2:48 am #

        After stumbling across some of your other contributions I've realised that you're either seriously delusional or a supremely dedicated troll. Either way, I feel bad for you (but only a little).

        Intel uses place names for its CPU project names. There is no "encryption" (?) or "cryptology" (??).

        However I do encourage you to expose to the world the secret meaning of all of Intel's recent x86 CPU family names, if you would. When you're done with that you can get started on AMD's.

      • juju January 17, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

        I'm dead(ly) serious(ly) joking.

  2. Corky January 16, 2016 at 11:10 am #

    Another in a series of bad moves by Microsoft, it seems their sticking two fingers up at their OEM partners and the whole PC hardware industry, forget about Microsoft saving the ever declining sales of the major OEMs, anyone who dislikes Windows 10 is going to be even less likely to buy new hardware.

    • Gary D January 16, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

      Microsoft seem to be overlooking the fact that, without Intel, AMD and OEMs, there would be no Microsoft.
      MS revenue is completely dependent upon users updating to new equipment, especially corporate/enterprise.
      No updating, no hardware sales, no MS OEM licences.
      Apple, despite the high prices, is doing very nicely.
      Now Google has Chrome Books and Chrome OS, are we going to see a decline in user MS dependency and MS's gradual demise ?

      • Corky January 16, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

        It wouldn't be the first time they've throw a previously highly valued customer under the bus, they done the same with gamers, the courted games by offering a "better" platform for games and then threw them under the bus when they felt threatened by Sony's console, since Microsoft released their console PC gaming has taken a back seat, it took AMD to put pressure on them before they bothered updating DirectX in any meaningful way, before Microsoft got into the console market DirectX got updated on a yearly cycle, when they got into the console market DirectX stagnated for over a decade.

        Embrace, extend and extinguish was and still is Microsoft's mantra.,_extend_and_extinguish

  3. insanelyapple January 16, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    Few years ago Intel had a "genius" idea of rolling new x86-64 cpu architecture that would be integrated into motherboard and thus, not replaceable; so far, custom builds and motherboard manufacturers are fine.

    If this idea of MS would be used well by FOSS in some campaign showing how corporations can force customers and business partners to get updated with hardware and software then perhaps Linux would gain on interest.

    • Lindsay January 17, 2016 at 2:35 am #

      That's not true. At the time it was reported that Broadwell would only be available in a BGA package, it was also reported that this would only apply to Broadwell. It had a substantially delayed release and ended up being only a stop-gap before the introduction of Skylake six months later. In the end socketed Broadwell SKUs were made available, albeit not across all market segments, but the there was never the intention to make ALL future x86 CPUs BGA-only.

      • insanelyapple January 17, 2016 at 12:07 pm #

        Ok, then maybe my memory is not that good.

  4. Earl January 16, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    I'll be happy to get a new box with Win10 on it. Then turn off all of the "features" I don't need (snoopvertizing, for example), install VirtualBox, and run... Debian, whatever. (even though Oracle sucks way more than Microsoft)

  5. Dave January 16, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    By the time i will be forced to move to windows 10 there will be good software that disables all spying features and leaks so I am calm for now.

    • Lindsay January 17, 2016 at 2:37 am #

      Does it start with L and end with inux?

  6. Budgie January 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

    So June 2009 was "10 years ago" now when it's been 6.5 years. Microsoft has reimagined math too. Windows 7 runs faster on the new Skylake laptop I just got. Everything in 7 is fast C++ code whereas in Windows 10, it looks like they used C#/.NET Native in the application logic for coding the shell stuff like tray icons, Start menu, Settings app etc. Windows 10 boots faster but that's because it uses hybrid boot (logoff+hibernate). If I hibernate Windows 7, it takes the same amount to resume as Windows 10. I don't need Store apps. I am perfectly fine with all the games and apps being desktop apps. More importantly, I need control over my OS. No auto-updating, no telemetry collection, no Bing searches, no internet communication without my permission, no Metro crap and no Microsoft changing stuff the way they want without my permission and then expecting me to accept the stupid changes.

    • Gary D January 16, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

      I read the PC World "MS Advert".
      One quote stands out: "Businesses are rushing towards Win 10 as fast as possible",
      On which planet is this happening!
      Another tidbit was that New Business Computers will be supplied with Win 7 which will be supported by Microsoft in order to "ease Enterprises onto Win 10".
      On the one hand businesses can't wait to use Win 10. On the other, MS will support businesses using Win 7 ??
      One statement contradicts the other.
      I have promoted Mark Hachman (PC World "journalist") to joint status with Ed Bott as Microsoft's top two shills.
      Why? Because to write such rubbish must attract a LOT of $$$$ from MS.

      NB @Budgie. Well, MS needs to re-imagine math in order to fiddle the Win 10 survey and install figures !

    • Corky January 16, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

      @Budgie, I think their exaggerating things for their own benefit, while technically correct that Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago their definition of "design" is probably different than most peoples, Microsoft started working on Windows 7 shortly after they released Vista so while technically correct their being rather disingenuous.

      • Bob Bobson February 8, 2016 at 9:57 pm #

        Well there you have it, Microsoft admits that Windows 7 really was just a patch to make Vista tolerable.

  7. Henk van Setten January 16, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    Sigh. This move by Microsoft is exactly, and I really mean ***exactly***, what I already saw coming two months ago.

    Maybe I should begin to make a few cents by starting a "Microsoft Policy Predictions" blog!

  8. Joker January 16, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

    So now they're punishing hardware-makers for the abysmal market-performance of Win10?
    What is wrong with Nadella!?

    • Jeff January 17, 2016 at 4:10 am #

      Never thought I'd utter these words, but can we please have Ballmer back?

      • Gary D January 17, 2016 at 10:06 am #


        Ballmer owns 4% of MS shares which are worth around $21 billion, so he does not have any incentive to come back.
        Still, Bill Gates might do a Steve Jobs. He could come back to rescue MS as Jobs did at Apple.

  9. CHANGE January 16, 2016 at 8:15 pm #

    Bye bye NSAdows. Hello Debian.

  10. Emilio January 16, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    This is simply out of desperation to see what Windows 10 numbers are not good.

  11. Valrobex January 17, 2016 at 1:37 am #

    @ Gary D – You're undoubtedly correct. Most likely businesses are delaying implementing Win 10.

    For businesses, there's a lot more to switching operating systems than simply installing Win 10. There are compatibility issues galore trying to tie the new OS in with various equipment, integrating different networks, and making proprietary and in-house software work as it should. That explains why so many US banking machines still use Win XP as well as various groups of the US military.

    Adding to these difficulties is the learning curve for the users of the new OS. Lord only knows how many millions of people will have to learn how to use Win 10 just to do their daily routines. (This partially explains the failure of Win 8 – the metro interface was too radical a departure from the tried-and-true menu/desktop.) These factors and more account for businesses not “lining up” to use Win 10. At a minimum, businesses are undoubtedly in a “wait and see” holding pattern.

    It will be interesting to see the true conversion rate to Win 10… let's say, this time next year. Most likely, MS will not be able to hide the true conversion rate by then. I would love to hear that MS “benevolently” postponed ending support for Win 7 and will continue to support it, much like they did for Win XP. MS will most likely have to change its current approach in order to maintain its market share because once a company or person tries something else, chances are they won't return to Windows.

    What's that old saying? - “Pride comes before a fall...”

  12. Lindsay January 17, 2016 at 2:37 am #

    How is Microsoft planning to prevent AMD and Intel from producing Windows 7 compatible drivers for future CPUs?

    • mikef90000 January 17, 2016 at 3:44 am #

      @Lindsay, they'll probably just put code in Win10+ that checks for a SkyLake unique instruction or feature. If not present, then the usual Blue Screen appears. Application vendors have been doing something similar by requiring CPUs with SSE2 support (for questionable reasons).

      One more reason to run my few required Windows apps on older o/s that run in a Linux hosted virtual machine.

      On a side note, this would seem to make Win10 even less likely to be used as an embedded or 'IOT' o/s where the OEM wants to have a stable hardware + software platform built for years.

    • Corky January 17, 2016 at 9:34 am #

      From what i can tell this only really applies to Windows 8.1 and even then just 6 months before it would have happened anyway, once an OS reaches the end of mainstream support (Jan 2018 for Windows 8.1) new features stop being added, new features such as those in new CPU's like Intel's Speed Shift.

      AFAIK that doesn't prevent manufactures from releasing drivers for older operating system and it would probably open Microsoft up for legal action if they attempted to prevent that, what it does mean though is that if the operating system need to be changed to support a wiz-bang new feature Microsoft won't do that.

      • Bob Bobson February 8, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

        It does seem like a bizarre story. Architecture drivers don’t come from Microsoft, they come from the manufacturers. Sure, they can then be tested by Microsoft and signed by Microsoft and bundled into the Windows driver lump and pushed through Windows Updates, but there’s no reason they *have* to be. There are plenty of drivers signed by the manufacturer themselves.

        This really does sound like fear-mongering and scare-tactics on Microsoft’s part. I guess they were worried that they were falling behind in the race to be the worst company in the world. No worries, they are quickly catching up.

  13. Trebuchette January 17, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    Skylake... SkyNET... MS is really this stupid. Wow.

    My worst fear is that MS/Intel/AMD/Apple/etc probably don't have much say in the affair.

    So I hope MS is really just this stupid.

  14. Anonymous January 17, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

    MS wants to kill off WIN 7, so it does not turn into and XP situation that everyone wants to keep installed and they don't make money. So they want to proactively force customers off Win 7, so they don't have to compete with win 7 in the future, with the new lemons they create like 8.1 and win 10 NSA spy generation customer data recorder operation cloud system.

    • Corky January 17, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

      Of course the flip side of all these persuasion efforts by Microsoft is that people will perceive all these statements of ending support earlier than they initially promised as reasons not to trust Microsoft and i wouldn't blame them, after all Microsoft did promise to offer extended support for the whole Windows 7 operating system and not just part of it as we've recently found out when they terminated support for the browser engine that they integrated into their OS.

      They promised mainstream support for Windows 8.1 until January 2018 yet it now seems that's ending six months sooner than they initially promised as they've said their not going to update Windows 8.1 to support features on newer CPU's.

      For all their talk Microsoft seems to be anything but a company that people should trust, to think that people trust Microsoft not to share all this data their gathering with other organisations is laughable, if their willing to renege on the support lifecycle of their operating system what makes people believe they wouldn't do the same with their personal data? Especially when you probably wouldn't even know they had done it.

  15. A different Martin January 18, 2016 at 12:32 am #

    Well, I'm not yet ready to offer a confident take on this new development, but I do have a few observations:

    (1) I'm skeptical that that Windows 10 in its default configuration, with its automatic backing up of passwords and Bitlocker encryption keys and user data to Microsoft's cloud, is HIPAA- and HITECH-compliant. (For non-Americans, these are laws that require very strict protection of patient medical data.) Healthcare institutions large enough to negotiate a Windows 10 Enterprise license will have full-time techs on hand to proactively plug potential privacy/security holes and to test updates before installing them to ensure, among other things, that the updates don't reopen those holes (as I believe has already happened once). But I worry about small- and medium-size healthcare operations that run non-Enterprise versions of Windows 10 ... and about their patients.

    (2) The US recently passed CISA (the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act), which immunizes corporations like Microsoft if they hand your personal data over to the feds without a warrant. So, you can either trust Microsoft's bold. legally non-binding assurances that they will never hand over user data without a warrant, or you can ask yourself why Microsoft, along with the rest of the IT big boys, lobbied Congress so hard for CISA.

    (3) Linux kernel 4.3 supposedly supports Skylake. I'm a Linux noob, but from the bit of googling I did it seems that the current stable releases of the popular, "user-friendly" distros are still built on kernel 4.2 or earlier. I gather that kernel 4.3.3 is performing well enough to be considered for long-term-support status, so distro updates will probably be forthcoming in the near future. (I read that Canonical is building Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, "Xenial Xerus," on kernel 4.3.3, and that's scheduled for release next April. Hopefully, Linux Mint will follow suit.)

    (4) I'm pretty sure some high-end Skylake mobile workstations (= expensive laptops) from Dell, HP, and Lenovo are (or were) being offered with a Linux distro pre-installed in lieu of Windows.

    Okay, I said I wasn't ready to offer a confident take, but I guess I do have a tentative one. Microsoft obviously isn't obligated to support new hardware and features on "old" operating systems, but that being said, it feels like a dick move to me. And I'm curious as to what Microsoft OSes' future end-of-life cycle is going to look like. If they stop issuing security patches after three years and you have to buy a new computer to support the new, secure version of the OS, hasta la vista Windows... (Actually, that was rhetorical. Dealing with GWX and, especially, critically buggy updates has been such a time-sucking hassle over the past several months that I've already decided to switch to Linux. I'm guessing it will be sometime after April 2016. Otherwise, I would have stuck with Windows 7 through end of life on 14 January 2020.)

  16. Jason January 19, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    > "The question that should come to mind is if the move will affect these systems in any shape or form. The short answer is that it likely won't affect those systems. Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices powered by Intel's Skylake processor won't just stop working right now or after the 18 months grace period."

    I cannot reconcile that statement with Microsoft's long-term history of seeking to monopolize hardware manufacturers, and its short-term history of forcefully shoving Windows 10 into people's computers.

    Or, to state things differently, I would not be surprised to learn one day that Microsoft has installed some "update" on Windows 7/8 systems to disable Skylake compatibility.

    The technological future is rather bleak for people who allow themselves to be trapped in a closed proprietary loop.

    • Corky January 20, 2016 at 1:06 am #

      At least with Windows 7/8 we can choose what updates to install so if, and it's a big if, something like that did happen people could just uninstall the update, once those are dead after 2023 and Windows 10 is the only Microsoft OS they could do what ever they wanted, they've already shown that by changing peoples settings, removing software, and if rumors are to be believed they've recently disabled the installing of the project some guy started to install Windows 7/8 games on Windows 10.

  17. A different Martin January 20, 2016 at 1:30 am #

    I'm only an amateur Windows 7 sysadmin for friends and relatives (and myself), not a pro, but I recently read an article going back to the time Skylake's specs were announced. Basically, it said that Windows 7 does not support USB 3.0 natively (at install time), that Skylake would only support USB 2.0 through USB 3.0 back-compatibility, and that "USB2 on USB3" does not support installing Windows. This supposedly means that, absent special OEM hardware and/or slip-streamed drivers/utilities at install time, (1) it will not be possible to install Windows 7 on a Skylake machine via USB, and (2) USB keyboards and mice will not work during installation, even from a DVD. This might explain why all of the machines in Microsoft's 18-month "grace period" list are laptops, with integrated keyboards and touchpads.

    Anyway, here's the article:

    Intel Skylake Removes Support for USB based Windows 7 Installation - Major Platform Specs Confirmed --

    • Corky January 20, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      Good find A different Martin, i wasn't aware of Intel dropping the EHCI controller from Skylake, maybe that's what Microsoft is on about, in a rather kack-handed way, having said that Intel does have a Windows 7* USB 3.0 Creator Utility that, if you lack a PS/2 mouse/keyboard and/or a CD drive will slipstream the needed USB drivers into the Windows 7 image that your installing from.

      • A different Martin January 21, 2016 at 6:22 pm #

        Your find is even better, Corky, since it apparently fixes the problem exposed in mine. But it still doesn't change the fact that Microsoft is effectively refusing to support Windows 7 on new hardware, four years before Windows 7's "end of life" and seven years before Windows 8.1's. I'm kind of excited at the prospect of getting a new mobile workstation with support for PCIe storage and Thunderbolt 3 (when they finally come out), but it looks like I'll be running Linux on it, not Windows.

        (The only important software I use that's not available for Linux is my Garmin GPS's updating utility, and for that I suppose I'll have to borrow someone else's Windows machine for a few hours a pop a couple times a year. Well, I guess I have an iPod, too, but I loaded it up once and haven't "interfaced" with it since.)

  18. AJae January 20, 2016 at 3:24 am #

    "To accommodate Enterprise customers, Microsoft has created a special program for Skylake devices. It has created a list of Skylake devices it will support to run Windows 7 and windows 8.1, BUT ONLY for the next 18 months."

    I agree @Jason, yes in order to keep Win 7 on Skylake all updates will have to be blocked. If it works for 18 months a software update will be needed to disable it.

    I just had to jump in to shout agreement with the above comment errs. As a Win 7 user I started to research Linux & BSD distros when I first learned about the horrendous spying in Win 10. Up to this point I knew nothing about Linux etc. I have owned a Mac but did not like that walled garden & was not prepared to *re-purchase programs that I was already using on Windows at that time.

    The more I learn about both {Linux & Win 10} the more certain I am that MS will never get a dime from me ever again. ...nor will Apple. :P I will take my time & learn more before testing various Linux distros but will make the move by dual booting first. My basic plan to start has been to block MS updates & soon to take my Win 7 offline. There are Windows programs that I will need to use, however they do not need to be online. My main concerns re: Linux/BSD is initially being able to set up security before going online with any distro & customizing programs etc. I do not need the security level of Tails, (I will test it though at some point) but refuse to go online without a firewall. I am a self taught somewhat advanced user. But the Linux firewalls seem to make an almost all or nothing initially or the painstaking process of setting individual filters.

    So far I do want to test Linux Mint, Free BSD, Manjaro & Puppy Linux. So before testing these I am trying to determine the work needed to setup/install a firewall on each before going online. I will not be testing Ubuntu because of not trusting Canocial...yes I saw you to need to opt -in to automatically connect to facebook etc. but that initial move makes me want to steer clear.

    I have to add that just today (Jan 19) live on Twit tv both Leo & Steve Gibson after reporting on this new info said they would move to Linux. Noting that Leo wanted to look further into this. I have no doubt that many more people will feel as we do, if Win 10 & the harassment didn't make you refuse to update & say goodbye to Windows, this move has been the all out body kick that has assured a F..U.. MS~!~

    • Jason January 21, 2016 at 5:05 am #

      As a Linux user, I feel I must welcome you to the community. :)

      One of the things you will learn as you dig deeper into this stuff is that Linux design philosophy is really fundamentally different from Windows. I cannot stress this enough. You've got to leave your Windows mindset behind.

      You are approaching firewalls from a Windows perspective, i.e. as a user of an operating system likely to be running a lot of closed-source software from untrusted developers. Try looking at things from a Linux perspective: you are using an operating system with protected root privileges, running software you almost certainly obtained from your distro's well-managed software repository. Under these conditions, it is extremely unlikely that you will have software on your machine that tries to call home without your knowledge. It's just a non-issue.

      So, will this affect the design of your firewall? You bet. Linux firewalls do exactly what a firewall (by definition) is supposed to do: they allow you to block ports and IP addresses. Windows "firewalls" are actually not really firewalls in the traditional sense of the word; they are geared toward blocking entire applications rather than ports and IPs. This functionality was built into them specifically because Windows users are always so unsure about the software on their computers. I have seen forums where new Linux users ask for this functionality in a Linux firewall, and the more seasoned users just ask, "Why exactly would you need THAT?" It's redundant, which is why there is so little demand for it amongst the Linux community.

      Now, of course there are ways to deal with a malicious app if you suspect you might have one. The best thing to do is install a network analysis tool like Wireshark to see EXACTLY which processes are trying to contact which domains. If you actually find something suspicious, you can either uninstall it or block its domain through a new rule in your firewall.

      See the difference in philosophy? Linux software (usually) sticks to the mantra of "do one thing and do it right". No need to overload the firewall with a lot of extraneous functionality (that will consume RAM, by the way) if you can trust the software on your computer. In those rare cases where you don't trust it, there are other tools for the job.

      Make sure you fully appreciate this before looking into antivirus software for Linux and realizing (shock! horror!) that you don't need to use any.

      Apologies to Martin for posting a long and basically off-topic comment. But I felt I had to respond!

  19. AJae January 22, 2016 at 3:20 am #

    Thank you for the welcome & the explanation of firewalls on linux Jason, much appreciated. It is definitely a different mindset. I am aware of Wireshark, just had not used it much. Your info helps me to feel more confident going forward & to know what I need to focus on & wht I need learn more about. :)

    My apologizes as well to Martin & a Thank you for providing a great website & place to vent & share.

    To bring this somewhat back on-topic I will share a post titled "Paul Thurrot: "Microsoft should not be forcing Windows 10 upgrades" from DSL Reports.

    It *appears at this time that both Paul & Mary Jo are not quite clear on Microsoft's exact meaning or intent on the use of older Windows will operate on new hardware & its support.

    When {I believe not if} this affects the bottom line of manufactures whether they will have no choice but to backtrack. With the sale of PC's at an all time low, they have just lost a large number of new sales with this move. If businesses are now *forced to wait much longer before purchasing new hardware we are talking about quite a large number of Enterprise customers.

    This would also means then that businesses will no longer have downgrade rights available. Since this has been a part of the Windows licenses for so long I wonder how it would affect sales of new hardware.

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