The clock is ticking for users holding out on Windows 7 and 8. For starters, Microsoft is blocking Windows 7 and 8 updates for Intel's seventh generation Core i3, i5 and i7 (Kaby Lake), AMD's Ryzen (Bristol Ridge) and Qualcomm's 8996 processors. The low-level Vulkan API will also not be supporting multiple GPUs on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and users will need to update to Windows 10 in order to support SLI or CrossFire with Vulkan.
Microsoft’s main argument is that this lack of updates will help them to focus on the deep integration between Windows and new silicon generations. Windows 7 was designed nearly a decade ago before the introduction of x86/x64 SOCs. Windows 7 is unable to run on any modern silicon without device drivers and firmware emulating Windows 7’s expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states. According to Microsoft, “redesigning Windows 7 subsystems to embrace new generations of silicon would introduce churn into the Windows 7 code base” and break the company's commitment to security and stability.
This lack of support has many Windows users riled up, especially since Microsoft has employed some rather aggressive practices in the past to push Windows 10 migrations and updates. Many already on Windows 10 have also expressed concerns about the operating system switching background updates on, even on metered connections, or other less than optimal scenarios considerate of the end user.
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Microsoft Apparently Ramping Up Heavy-Handed Tactics To Force Windows 10 Migrations
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