Microsoft to force Windows 10 on Kaby Lake and Ryzen CPUs?

This isn't a matter of just missing out on driver updates to fully support the latest generation of processors on older operating systems - we're talking about a complete blackout of Windows Update on all fronts.

The only solution to clear the error and download the updates you need is to upgrade to Windows 10. According to PC Advisor, the new Surface device might run AMD Ryzen 7 instead of Intel Kaby Lake that is further supported by the description, "Intelligence powered by AMD, Ryzen and Radeon".

Microsoft recommends users to upgrade their Windows 8.1 and Window 7 computers to Windows 10 if the devices are equipped with a seventh generation or a later generation CPU.

Skylake-based systems on the supported list will receive updates through the official end of Microsoft's extended support phase for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (January 14, 2020, and January 10, 2023, respectively). Interestingly, Microsoft still offers "mainstream support" for the unpopular Windows 8 until Jan 2018, though that's misleading since it isn't supporting modern processors with the OS. 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. Going forward, new processors, including Intel's Kaby Lake and AMD's recently-released Ryzen, would require the newest version of Windows.

Despite this bit of news making the rounds around the web, and the fact that there's a running Reddit thread with close to 600 comments on the subject, there have yet to be reports of systems in the wild where this error message popped up. For its part, it's logical for Microsoft to expect that users who'll own PCs with extremely updated hardware won't even dare touch older versions of Windows, because such a move could be seen as ultimately backward.

Microsoft reiterated that point in August 2016.

The change in support policies is a major change for Microsoft, which historically has supported Windows for 10 years regardless of hardware.

Users may also receive an unknown error message when attempting to search for updates on an older version of Windows.

Using Windows 7 on these latest systems is already awkward in many situations; the operating system has no built-in support for USB 3 or NVMe.

The bottom line? If you're building or upgrading a system around Kaby Lake or Ryzen, it's pretty much Windows 10 or bust.

  • Arturo Norris