A recently published Knowledge Base article suggests that Microsoft is going to block Windows Updates for owners of the latest Intel and AMD processors if they try to run Windows 7 or 8.1.
Last year, Microsoft announced a shift in the way it would support Windows. Going forward, new processors, including Intel’s Kaby Lake and AMD’s recently-released Ryzen, would require the newest version of Windows. Users of Windows 7 and 8.1 would be out of luck, with Microsoft having no plans to support the new chips on the old operating systems.
It used to be fairly common to see BIOS configuration options to limit CPUID, maximum memory, or change PnP device initialization to support old operating systems including XP and OS/2. Who would ship a Kaby Lake system without such support today, noting that it would alienate a good fraction of potential users?
It also seems like a matter of time before hacks/shims are built to ensure Windows Update doesn’t see the native CPUID when checking for updates.