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Microsoft Businesses Intel The Almighty Buck Windows

Windows 10 Will Cut Off Devices With Older CPUs (pcworld.com) 274

Reader Baron_Yam shares a PCWorld report: No Windows 10 Creators Update for you, Microsoft says -- at least, not if you happen to be the unlucky owner of certain older Atom-based Windows devices, and other aging models in the future. After stories arose of failed attempts to upgrade such hardware to the Creators Update, Microsoft confirmed late Wednesday that any hardware device that falls out of the manufacturer's support cycle may be ineligible for future Windows 10 updates. In the case of the four "Clover Trail" processors (part of the Cloverview platform) that have fallen into Intel's End of Interactive Support phase, they will be ineligible for the Windows 10 Creators Update, Microsoft confirmed. Instead, they'll simply be offered the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, plus security updates through January, 2023, the end of the original Windows 8.1 support period. The problem, however, is that Microsoft's language opens up the possibility that any unsupported hardware device could be excluded from future Windows 10 updates. "Recognizing that a combination of hardware, driver and firmware support is required to have a good Windows 10 experience, we updated our support lifecycle policy to align with the hardware support period for a given device," Microsoft said in a statement. "If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update." The reader adds, it's not a case of "feature updates are not recommended and may not work", it's a case of "we will block feature updates to your device".
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Windows 10 Will Cut Off Devices With Older CPUs

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  • Can they offer basic video drivers / let people use an video card?

    SVGA / visa fall back?

    windows server basic video mode?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      But they won't.

      Which brings us to the rub of the nub: Why would anybody still bother to use that crap?

      No, not the crappy and backdoored hardware. The software.

      • But they won't.

        Which brings us to the rub of the nub: Why would anybody still bother to use that crap?

        No, not the crappy and backdoored hardware. The software.

        Stockholm syndrome.

        • by gweihir ( 88907 )

          Stockholm syndrome.

          At least in part, yes. Sure, for some things you basically still have to use Windows (gaming), but all the people that are happy with this POS are massive Stockholm Syndrome sufferers.

    • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

      No. Even Windows 7 made it extremely difficult to do that. That is why when XP went out of support, I had little choice but to replace my mother's 9 year old laptop (with i915G chipset)... with a 7 year old laptop that has modern enough features to run just about anything. (The Core 2 Duo was and continues to be a pretty impressive chip.) I pretty much consider this the beginning of the window of machines still worth keeping in service -- x64, SATA II, 4 GB capability. While there's definitely a ceiling to

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      They could. But they will not as their business-model is now thoroughly focused on shafting their customers in any way possible. Incidentally, you will have something like SVGA fallback, because of virtualization and installation when graphics drivers are not yet present. But forget about higher resolution VESA modes.

  • Yay (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:26AM (#54846043)

    Where can I get me some of these CPUs? I've been looking for a way to stop Windows 10 updates.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:26AM (#54846045)

    No such thing. Windows has sucked ass since Windows 2000.

    • No such thing. Windows has sucked ass since Windows 2000.

      You mean since Windows 1.0, right?

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Well, to be fait, Win7 was mostly ok if you have limited expectations and only wanted to do things like gaming or using Office with it. But it really went steeply downhill from there again.

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:29AM (#54846067)
    I can see video cards that need drivers, but what support does a CPU need to keep functioning with newer versions of Windows?
    • Maybe microcode updates.
    • I'd like to know the answer to this question, too.

    • by TheMeuge ( 645043 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:42AM (#54846141)

      Encryption back doors.
      Hardware surveillance code.

      Any other questions?

      • Any other questions?

        Do they also include static tin-foil hat disruptors, because I'm thinking the government is starting to ... know.

    • intels powerVR after they cut off nvidia from atom chipsets. At the same time AMD was all 64 bit! but intel pushed out low end 32 bit only cpus.

    • by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @12:16PM (#54846349) Journal

      I *think* it's less about CPU and more about chipset support.
      Chipset controls the following:
      * SATA / m2
      * USB (2/3)
      * Sound
      * SMBus (memory SPD timing info from eeprom, Battery status on notebooks, board temp sensors, fan speed monitors, etc)
      * LPC
      * PCI
      * PCIe (non PEG slots, PEG x16 slot comes from CPU)
      * LAN
      * Onboard WiFi
      * TPM

      CPU would also have a factor in:
      * PEG slot
      * supported instruction set (if they want to use new instructions for a feature and not have to deal with workarounds on older CPUs?)
      * crypto
      So, with chipsets being so closely married to CPUs and consumers being much more aware of the CPU version than the exact chipset version I think the rationale is that linking it to CPU featureset is the easiest to manage.

      • Ie, screw the customers in order to make development easier. Which to Microsoft is a win-win game.

        • by Megol ( 3135005 )

          I can remember loud voices complaining that MS never dropped support for stuff in order to keep backwards compatibility therefore making Windows bloated. Now they do for a extremely narrow range of products and the voices are now complaining that stuff are dropped.

          It's easy to complain.

    • Not a lot. They periodically cull code that's required to work on older processors, but most systems do that. It's not unlike how Linux dropped support for the original 386 some years back. Windows continues to work on parts much older than these processors. (Athlon 64 and Pentium 4 with EM64T. Windows 10 won't work on processors that lack PAE, NX and SSE2.)

      The sticking point with these particular parts is the integrated PowerVR GPU. Imagination Technologies has a history of leaving their non-Apple customer

    • I can see video cards that need drivers, but what support does a CPU need to keep functioning with newer versions of Windows?

      The integrated video card.

      Seriously. That is the issue, these are using integrated PowerVR graphics, which always have had ass sucking drivers.

      • The integrated video card.

        On Atom processors? I have an Atom-based system and it's graphics card is not integrated into the processor, nor is it PowerVR:
        00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 82945G/GZ Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 02)

    • by keltor ( 99721 ) *
      These CPUs all have the SAME video card using PowerVR tech. There's a couple of variations that WERE used in some weird systems that allowed a video card. Those specific CPU models are not actually blocked.
    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      Clover Trail is an ancient architecture. It's 32-bit only, instruction set support caps out at SSE3/SSSE3, and it's notable for being one of very few Intel CPUs to include a PowerVR GPU.

      All those elements mean that supporting Clover Trail is far more trouble than it's worth.
  • Linux. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:32AM (#54846081)

    Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux.

    Seriously, though: Bite the bullet and put Linux on it. Make the effort to learn how to use a Linux system properly, and you will reap benefits in privacy, security and protecting your identity that far outstrip the effort you put in.

    Linux is not perfect, but it's far better than an "operating system" that reports all of your personal information and activities on the Internet just so M$ can make money off you, while still charging you a "subscription" for the privilege of being abused.

    • I totally agree. If you're casual user, you'll face the same browsers (well, not IE or Edge), etc. If you're a developer, the world will be a way better for you (better support for Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, multiple language interpreters setup, like several JMVs, RVM, etc, out of box, all installable from few clicks or bash commands). The only downside in current days is gaming (Windows support is better). But I use this as an advantage for me: no gaming in my working computer :)
    • Re:Linux. (Score:5, Informative)

      by nateman1352 ( 971364 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @12:17PM (#54846357)
      I agree with you on the fundamental premise of "put Linux on it" to get better privacy and usually longer support lifetimes... but this is actually bad advice in this particular narrow scenario. These Clover Trail SOCs don't have Linux drivers! Moreover, all Clover Trail systems shipped with 32-bit UEFI with no legacy boot support (aka no CSM). None of the major distros have put any effort in to supporting this platform. These computers are pretty much Windows only, the only sane option seems to be to run Windows 8.1 on them.
      • I agree with you on the fundamental premise of "put Linux on it" to get better privacy and usually longer support lifetimes... but this is actually bad advice in this particular narrow scenario. These Clover Trail SOCs don't have Linux drivers! Moreover, all Clover Trail systems shipped with 32-bit UEFI with no legacy boot support (aka no CSM). None of the major distros have put any effort in to supporting this platform. These computers are pretty much Windows only, the only sane option seems to be to run Windows 8.1 on them.

        The problem is, "Linux" and "Support" in NO WAY belong in the same sentence!

      • by keltor ( 99721 ) *
        Some of the machines got Android 4.x ported to them. For those machines, it might actually be the best option.
      • I agree with you on the fundamental premise of "put Linux on it" to get better privacy and usually longer support lifetimes... but this is actually bad advice in this particular narrow scenario. These Clover Trail SOCs don't have Linux drivers! Moreover, all Clover Trail systems shipped with 32-bit UEFI with no legacy boot support (aka no CSM). None of the major distros have put any effort in to supporting this platform. These computers are pretty much Windows only, the only sane option seems to be to run Windows 8.1 on them.

        Thank you for pointing that out - Even some of the newer Atom SoC devices, over several further generations, you see more of the 32 bit UEFI boots and devices with no Linux drivers, over which your only real OS option is Windows 8 or 10, and 32-bit only.

    • Maybe it's just my bad luck, but I've tried to switch to Linux a few times, and there's always something that doesn't work the way it should. Sometimes it's wireless drivers, sometimes video drivers, or just other random stuff. I had one laptop that technically had everything working but for some reason the battery life was very diminished when running Linux.

      The only place I seem to be able to get it working consistently well is on VirtualBox.I could switch to Linux by going out and buying a new computer t

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 )

        I used Linux on the desktop for years myself, but eventually I decided to ditch it and just stick to Windows exactly for the reasons you mention: there was always something breaking and I could never get all the hardware-features working that worked fine under Windows. The desktop-environments themselves were also a big, sodding mess and for anything more than typing text in gedit or similar or browsing the web you had to drop to CLI, and it's still that way even to this day.

        I'm definitely very happy with L

      • That's pretty much where I'm at. There's always something that drives me back to Windows. My most recent attempt had serious problems with dual-booting, plus I wasn't happy with Libre Office. I could fix the first by getting a dedicated Linux-only box, but I'd still have the other problem.

    • Linux is not immune to this problem either. Newer kernels are released, and all of a sudden, your video drivers don't work because they are binary blobs that the manufacturer doesn't support anymore. This forces you to continue to upgrade.
    • Linux could be great for older hardware, provided Linux would stop shooting itself in the foot by dropping support for older hardware to make sure that old hardware cannot be used with Linux. Like dropping XAA which made sure old video cards cannot work with Linux, and Wayland which is designed to make certain that only the latest and greatet $300 video cards from AMD or Intel run with Linux

    • Someone writes SolidWorks builds for Linux I'll switch right over. Mac is nearly as bad in this regard. Just recently Autodesk came out with AutoCAD for OSX.

    • Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux. Linux.

      Seriously, though: Bite the bullet and put Linux on it. Make the effort to learn how to use a Linux system properly, and you will reap benefits in privacy, security and protecting your identity that far outstrip the effort you put in.

      Linux is not perfect, but it's far better than an "operating system" that reports all of your personal information and activities on the Internet just so M$ can make money off you, while still charging you a "subscription" for the privilege of being abused.

      Doesn't help much with PowerVR drivers though. There are some for Linux, but they are usually commercial stuff for embedding in settop boxes.

    • Linux is not perfect, but it's far better than.......

      Windows 10

    • by keltor ( 99721 ) *
      Actually there's basically no good Linux support for the GPU in these either. It was basically a poor choice by Intel. Apparently you can run Android 4.x on the platform sometimes depending on the specific bios. These were basically all small cheap tablets in the 7-10" range.
    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      In the case of these specific CPUs, "Put Linux on it" probably wont help as the issue with these CPUs is the PowerVR GPU Intel was stupid enough to use (instead of its own Intel integrated GPU) and the Linux drivers for the PowerVR cores on these CPUs are even worse than the Windows drivers.

  • by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:34AM (#54846099)

    They're blocking patches to older OSes if you run them on newer hardware. (http://www.pcworld.com/article/3181814/windows/microsoft-says-its-blocking-windows-7-8-patches-on-latest-amd-intel-chips.html)

    The pretext is to ensure better compatibility but it seems a lot more likely this is to ensure that if you're in a Windows environment, you're on an upgrade treadmill.

    Update your hardware? Now you have to update your OS. And the hardware update cycle tends to be 3-5 years, whereas keeping an OS for over a decade isn't that uncommon.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:50AM (#54846197) Homepage

      The pretext is to ensure better compatibility but it seems a lot more likely this is to ensure that if you're in a Windows environment, you're on an upgrade treadmill.

      It absolutely is. I used the small open source patch that lets you continue to install updates, everything has drivers from the manufacturer and everything works. Maybe Win7 isn't doing everything optimally, but there's no compelling reason for Windows to refuse to run.

    • To play devil's advocate, legacy code and support has been a known issue for Microsoft for a long time, and one that they have been trying to seriously address since Vista. There have been several times that they have had to seriously delay or drop highly improved new technology because of their need to support legacy code and devices, and they've gotten a lot of criticism for being behind the technology curve due to that need. If they want to solve the legacy code/hardware support issue, then at some poi

    • Yeah. They're trying to make it so you can't get the latest OS on old hardware, and you can't use the latest hardware on an older OS.

      I can see a few possible reasons that Microsoft would want to do this. First, and most innocently, they could be trying to limit OS development costs by shrinking the amount of hardware they have to support. In a sense, they may be trying to emulate Apple, which supports far less hardware and is quick to break backward compatibility, generally producing faster development

    • Why do you even allow windows update to run...? Do you trust what it will do?
      • Personally, I do not. I set the service to disabled just to be fairly sure.

        I'd rather reimage a compromised machine (and I've never had a machine infected on my network, though I recently got burned by a cheap IoT device from China I was playing with...) than deal with issues introduced by a patch. I manually add things I need to support new software as the need arises.

        However, when I'm at work... "best practice". We get patches, deploy to test groups, then roll out to everyone. And sometimes shortly th

    • > whereas keeping an OS for over a decade isn't that uncommon.

      /cynical sarcasm A decade? Try 30 years! I still run DOS3.3 and ProDOS on my Apple 2's you insensitive clod. Yes, I'm half joking. :-)

      The only reason to upgrade an OS is for:

      * bug-fixes such as security
      * driver support

      Many people running Windows 7 aren't usually buying new hardware that needs a new driver, and they are using external security solutions.

    • I just updated to a 7th gen i5 and had this problem on my 8.1 system. There's a manual update solution [malwaretips.com] though luckily. Honestly if I had known about this I probably would have updated this way all the time. The built in updater sucks.
  • To all those older PCs (and their owners) that still do what the owners need them to just fine, but want to keep getting needed security updates, not handing over HD streaming telemetry and everything that happens in their houses, etc...

    Welcome to Linux.

  • My work is putting Windows 10 into production in September, which is surprising since Windows 8 never made it out testing. With newer hardware only being supported by Windows 10, the powers to be decided to leap into the unknown. That's job security on my end since something will inevitably go wrong.
  • So Android is trying to *fix* their update problems by trying to better segregate the portions of their platform that are heavily dependent on the specific hardware vendors from the upper application layers. In this way, they can work toward fixing the problem where Android devices are notorious for not being able to take updates, since it's all one big lump today.

    Microsoft seems to be going the other direction, having a big monolithic glob of crap, where a hardware vendor dropping out means you suddenly c

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:42AM (#54846139) Homepage

    Microsoft confirmed. Instead, they'll simply be offered the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, plus security updates through January, 2023, the end of the original Windows 8.1 support period.

    So Microsoft is going to give the Anniversary Update 7 years of security updates, that's great. Now give everybody else the chance to step off the upgrade bandwagon. Seriously it's proven time and time again that they could let you do it and it wouldn't really cost them anything because they're going to make those patches anyway, but they won't.

    • It's very possible they're getting their version control to the point where patching the newest version also patches every older release affected. That would make patches for older feature releases almost free for them to do.

  • Not alone (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:55AM (#54846225)

    Rememebrr, Apple does exactly this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 20, 2017 @11:59AM (#54846241)

    It's, in a way, the same key mistake they did with windows phone:
    - they released WP7, and offered no upgrade path to WP 8, basically rendering obsolete all 7 phones when they released WP8
    - they released WP8 and the 8.1 update. They even managed to gain some market share.
    - they announced WP10, saying that "all devices running 8 will be updated". They even released betas that were working on the older phones, except...
    - on the day of release they dropped support for almost all the phones they sold, breaking the promise to update them and making almost all of the existing OS market share obsolete
    - when releasing Windows 10 they were saying that "this is the last Windows ever" promising to finally kill version fragmentation, except with the creators update they didn't update all their phones, dropping the support again and making the last few phones remaining obsolete
    - now that they have nothing to kill on the phone side, probably the same executive moved to the pc section...
    Good luck with this

  • This is MS's SOP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by OneHundredAndTen ( 1523865 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @12:28PM (#54846423)
    That's what MS is best at: screwing up its customers. Those of you who are still using Windows because you are locked in, you have my commiserations. The rest, I won't say screw you because you already are.
  • On one hand, they are offering security updates through the expected lifetime of the OS that shipped with the devices. So I guess that's reasonable, and it probably avoids potential legal complaints.

    On the other hand, they are engaged in massive cost-cutting that forces users onto an upgrade treadmill. I can understand that you don't want to validate your software against every piece of hardware from the last decade. But other developers are clearly capable of it.

  • Trying to get a new OS to work with an old driver is hard. In fact it's so hard, that Linux pretty much requires drives to be compiled for your exact kernel. Trying to do this without assistance from the manufacturer of the device seems like a fools errand. The policy here seems quite reasonable. MSFT will provide updates for as long as the device manufacturer supports the device. After that you still get security updates but no high-risk feature updates. This makes Microsoft's job a lot easier. But
    • Linux requires drivers being compiled for a specific kernel thanks to not having a stable ABI because reasons. Windows does have a stable ABI, even Windows 2000 drivers can work with Windows 10. This is just Microsoft dropping support because reasons.

      • Yes the *can* work and the can also *not* work. And when they do work, Microsoft gains no benefit. When they don't work, the OS is perceived as unreliable. Look how many people out there still claim that Windows crashes. They could be shills but maybe it really does crash for them. On the other hand, many large enterprises have tens of thousands of Windows clients deployed and they are very reliable. The difference is, of course, name-brand hardware with stable drivers. Many lower-level drivers are ti
  • by Eravnrekaree ( 467752 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @12:42PM (#54846543)

    These older computers would be perfect for Linux, if Linux developers would stop shooting themselves in the foot by making sure people with old hardware cannot use Linux, things like dropping XAA support to make sure older video cards will not work with Linux, and now the Wayland disaster, which is specifically designed to make Linux unuseable on older hardware and anything less, it seems, than the most recent $300 super duper Intel or AMD graphics adapters (lets not even go into the Nvidia driver disaster).

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @12:45PM (#54846575)

    Windows 10 has to be the single best example of how NOT to roll out an operating system.

    Forcing people to migrate their hardware out of fear that their OS will simply stop running arbitrarily, is complete and utter bullshit. Where do they get the right to arbitrarily change their license/support terms on the fly like this?

    And why hasn't any governments slapped them into next year for it?

  • Honestly I don't need the "feature creep" of new versions anyhow. If I need to do something that wasn't included in the prior version of Windows, then I already have software designed to fill that need. The only problem I can see is that incorporating features into the mainline version of Windows can lead to developers abandoning products because their market has been undercut. Those who still need them will be stuck with old versions of both OS and app. I would rather have had the option of continuing with Anniversary on both of my machines, but doing a fresh install for Creators on my desktop turned out to be a blessing anyhow. All sorts of weird little glitches accumulated from years of in-place upgrades got resolved at once.

    MS says security patches will continue. If they're good to their word, I don't see any major problems with this other than the aforementioned gutting of third party app support due to a loss of revenue.

  • This is a pretty underhanded way to get users who don't need to upgrade their machines to upgrade.

    There is no technical reason (that I'd believe) for Windows 10 to not function on any given hardware configuration. In fact, Windows 10 has been a champ about being moved between hardware setups without really hiccuping much.

    I definitely call BS on Microsoft. They're simply giving PC manufacturers a handup by arbitrarily by declaring a hardware profile to be unsupported.

    It almost made sense for this stance on

  • What I think Microsoft should do is continuously ping a master list of hardware. The second any hardware is no longer supported by the manufacturer Windows should bluescreen or greenscreen or whatever color it is these days with stop error DEVICE_TREADMILL_VIOLATION.

    After all if the vendor doesn't support something.. it may not work right or may not be secure or similar specious drivel so crashing is the safest most responsible course of action.

    Forget the fact most of the things myself and everyone I know

  • Consumer hostility, gone plaid...
  • by Huge_UID ( 1089143 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @04:50PM (#54848665)
    Apple would never pull this kind of crap.

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