Microsoft & Windows

Microsoft begins denying updates to some Windows 7 users


But the no-support-on-new-silicon dragnet sweeps up innocent PCs, too, as false-positive reports mount, Credit: Martyn Williams
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Microsoft this week began blocking Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs equipped with the very newest processors from receiving security updates, making good on a policy it announced but did not implement last year.

But the company also refused to provide security fixes to Windows 7 systems that were powered by AMD’s “Carrizo” CPUs, an architecture that was supposed to continue receiving patches.

The decree that led to the update bans, whether allowable or not under Microsoft’s new policy, was revealed in January 2016, when the company said making Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 run on the latest processors was “challenging.”

Microsoft then ruled that Windows 10 would be the only supported edition on seventh-generation and later CPUs and simultaneously dictated a substantial shortening of support of both editions.

The biggest impact was on Windows 7, because it had become the standard in enterprises — Microsoft’s most valued customers — with deployment shares far north of 50%.

According to Microsoft, Windows 7 was to be fully supported on sixth-generation processors — Intel’s were dubbed “Skylake,” AMD’s included Carrizo — until July 17, 2017. At that point, some Skylake-equipped PCs would continue to receive some security updates; other such PCs would get nothing.

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