Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 17th Jan 2016 13:27 UTC
Windows

Microsoft has detailed its support plans for new and upcoming processor generations. The general gist: all upcoming processor generations from Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm will require Windows 10. Windows 8.x and Windows 7 will not be supported on these new platforms.

Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. 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. For example, Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel's upcoming "Kaby Lake" silicon, Qualcomm's upcoming "8996" silicon, and AMD's upcoming "Bristol Ridge" silicon.

Through July 17, 2017, Skylake devices on the supported list will also be supported with Windows 7 and 8.1. During the 18-month support period, these systems should be upgraded to Windows 10 to continue receiving support after the period ends. After July 2017, the most critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for these configurations, and will be released if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices.

You better be prepared for this when shopping for new hardware in the coming years.

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Let me voice the unpopular opinion
by sukru on Mon 18th Jan 2016 04:03 UTC
sukru
Member since:
2006-11-19

Unfortunately there seems to be technical reasons for this. I'm not discounting any intentional decision on behalf of Microsoft, however I ran into a similar issue even with Linux, during a hardware upgrade. New hardware require new drivers, and they are not always readily available.

What happens is there are new chipsets, and new methods to drive I/O devices and memory with each new hardware generation. In my case with Linux, which was ~10 years ago, the issue was "resolved" by disabling SMT kernel. Well actually RedHat (or Fedora, can't exactly remember) later released a fix, but there was a period when my shiny new AMD hardware was not fully supported.

Most recent motherboards (except for special purpose ones) come with a lot of backward compatibility shims to emulate older hardware to run generic OS'es. Those exceptional cases seem to be 1. apple, 2. embedded/low power single board computers. When I built my HTPC, I had to go through several different Linux distros to be able to install Linux on then new AMD APUs. I'm not only talking about missing video card drivers, but plain being unable to boot the operating system even in text mode.

I do not like this decision, since I still keep my old OS on my laptop. But on the other hand I know Linux will adopt, as it always has, and older Windows users will either "upgrade" to 10, or switch to an alternate operating system.

Edited 2016-01-18 04:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

sukru,

When I built my HTPC, I had to go through several different Linux distros to be able to install Linux on then new AMD APUs. I'm not only talking about missing video card drivers, but plain being unable to boot the operating system even in text mode.


It's not clear based on your comment that you even got into linux at all to test it's drivers. Some computers can be finicky to boot even though Linux would technically work if you resolved the boot issues. Did Grub fail? Sometimes that's a problem. Or even something like UEFI/secure boot getting in the way? Many distros don't have a UEFI bootloader at all, so the system would have to be set to boot in legacy bios mode first. It could actually be a buggy chipset too, if so it might be fixed in newer firmware.

I have an HP that has a bios featured called "fast boot", in which it tries to skip directly into windows, and Linux will not boot in this mode. For that matter, neither will windows after a crash. I had to double-fault the load process to get back to a clean boot. This wasn't worth the hassle and so I turned the feature off - now both boot fine.


I've yet to see an x86 system with firmware that doesn't support legacy bios booting at all, but I'm sure that day will come. What's the make/model of this computer and which distro ended up working for you?

Edited 2016-01-18 06:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2