Microsoft ending support for Intel Skylake and newer chips on OSs older than Windows 10

By Sherif Saed
18 January 2016 21:15 GMT

If you’re still rocking a Windows 7 or 8 installation on your Intel Skylake-based system, Microsoft is leaving you in the dust.


Microsoft has announced that it will cease official support for devices running Intel’s 6th generation CPUs (Skylake) on Windows versions from 7, all the way to 8.1. The company revealed the move in a lengthy blog post that initially may seem to be about something else.

“Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SOCs existed,” Microsoft’s Terry Myerson said. “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.”

The rest of the blog post explains how well Windows 10 works with Skylake chips, though it’s mostly geared towards mobile and laptops, flaunting battery life savings and graphical performance increases.

Although the chances of someone running an Intel Skylake chip and using Windows 7,8, or 8.1 are low right now, it could be a necessity for some in the future if certain software don’t play well with Windows 10, or in some scenarios where corporate PCs/notebooks are only supported on Windows 7.

Nonetheless, the company said it will publish a list of devices running Skylake and Windows 7/8/8.1 that will be exempted from this rule and will instead remain supported through July 2017.

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