The March 2017 preview updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 introduce Windows Update processor generation and hardware support detection.
Microsoft published KB4012218 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, and KB4012219 for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 yesterday evening.
These previews are only available through the Microsoft Update Catalog, and only include non-security updates.
They are designed to give system administrators, and interested home users, time to test cumulative updates for the operating systems they are released for before they are pushed out through Windows Update on the next Patch Day.
What's particularly interesting about these two preview updates is that they introduce the detection of the device's processor generation and hardware support.
Both include the following entry:
Enabled detection of processor generation and hardware support when PC tries to scan or download updates through Windows Update.
As you may know, Microsoft announced some time ago that it would not support the latest generation of processors on older versions of Windows. To hammer this home even more, Microsoft revealed that it will block updates on older versions of Windows if the device was powered by a processor of the latest generation.
Test showed that this was not the case at the time of revelation. It appears now though, that the updates KB4012218 and KB4012219 introduce that functionality on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (and the server versions).
Tests need to be conducted to find out whether this is indeed the case when the release updates are made available though.
For now though, it seems like a good idea to avoid these patches if your Windows device uses a cpu of the latest generation, or if you plan to equip it with one in the future.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.