Earlier this year, Microsoft announced their plans to establish a specific support policy for Intel's 6th Generation Skylake chipset as it related to supporting on Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10.
Shortly after CES wrapped up in January Terry Myerson revealed this new plan on the official Windows blog.
At that time their policy towards the Skylake chipset was to provide driver and system support to a very specific set of Skylake based devices for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. The other aspect of this new plan was to only support Windows 7 and 8.1 on those devices until 17 July 2017 which at that time was just 18 months down the road. Of course, Windows 10 was built for that type of new chipset and beyond so support for it was not considered an issue.
As you might imagine, the reaction was swift and loud to the idea that Windows 7 and 8.1 would only be supported on newer devices running Skylake for just 18 months.
Then just two months later in March Microsoft announced their plans to modify this support policy and adjust the end of support for Windows 7 and 8.1 running on Skylake to expire on 17 July 2018 and give organizations an extra year to make their migration over to Windows 10. They also revealed that security related fixes for Windows 7 and 8.1, which were originally due to expire at the end of this new support policy, would be made available for those systems on Skylake until the operating system end of support dates of 14 January 2020 and 10 January 2023 respectively.
This was considered a pretty significant backtrack on their original announcement in January.
However, the changes to this policy were not done as we learned today from Microsoft.
In a new blog post on the official Windows blog site, Shad Larsen the Director of Windows Business Planning, what is hopefully the final change to this silicon support policy.
He details the following key items in that article:
- Today Windows 7 is in extended support and support will end for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, and support for Windows 8.1 will end January 10, 2023.
- 6th Gen Intel Core devices on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be supported with all applicable security updates until the end of support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
- This change is made possible through the strong partnership with our OEM partners and Intel who will be performing security update validation testing and upgrade testing for 6th Gen Intel Core systems running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 through the end of support dates.
- As previously communicated earlier this year, future silicon platforms including Intel’s upcoming 7th Gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) processor family and AMD’s 7th generation processors (e.g. Bristol Ridge) will only be supported on Windows 10, and all future silicon releases will require the latest release of Windows 10.
Despite extending support on these chipsets until the OS's themselves are no longer actively supported Microsoft does not want customers waiting around to migrate to Windows 10:
"We recommend that customers upgrade these 6th Gen Intel Core systems on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as soon as possible so that they can receive full support along with the great enhancements that come from running modern hardware with modern software. Our commitment to all of our customers remains strong and we’re grateful for your ongoing support."
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