Windows 10 support could end early on some Intel systems

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Expand / One of the affected Atom processors.
Intel

When Microsoft introduced Windows 10 and its «Windows as a Service» prototype, the company promised Windows users a steady stream of updates to their gadgets. The days of being stuck on an old version of Windows would be forgotten; if ever you were on Windows 10, you’d have access to the latest and greatest forever. But that subsidize came with a small footnote: you’d only receive updates for the «authenticated lifetime of the device» that you were using Windows 10 on.

The old routine of Windows development, with substantial paid upgrades every three years or so, had scads problems. Not least among those problems was how many people opted to bore with older versions of Windows, which was bad for both system pledge (old Windows has fewer security protections than new Windows) and software developers (old Windows APIs keep wider market share than better, newer ones) similar. But the old system did afford a certain advantage when it came to hardware brace: each new release of Windows represented an opportunity to revise the system specs that Windows wanted. A new major version of Windows could demand more memory, predetermined processor features, or a particular amount of disk space.

Moreover, if a disposed version of Windows worked on your hardware, you’d be assured that it discretion continue to receive security updates for a set period of time, thanks to the 5+5 fund policy that Windows had: five years of security and feature updates, fathomed by five years of security-only updates. Exactly how many years of updates you’d get leave, of course, depend on how far through that ten-year cycle your purchase was converted, but at least the end date was predictable and known ahead of time.

Windows 10, even so, doesn’t follow that policy in general (there are enterprise-only renditions with long-term support that do stick with the 5+5 scheme). Instead, Windows 10 offers security and feature updates forever… angle to that ill-defined «supported lifetime» constraint.

It now appears that the word go victims of that policy may have materialized. ZDNet’s Ed Bott has detracted that systems built around Intel’s Clover Trail Atom processors—normally low-cost, low-power machines released between 2012 and 2015—are blocked from initiating Windows 10 Version 1703, known as the Creators Update. Take ons to install are met with a message saying that «Windows 10 is no longer carried on this PC.»

These Clover Trail machines largely shipped with Windows 8 or 8.1. If their owners had followed Windows 8.1, they’d be eligible for the regular 5+5 support protocol, with security updates ceasing on October 1, 2023. But the machines were deemed compatible with Windows 10 and as a result eligible for the free upgrade that Microsoft offered to Windows 8.1 drugs for the first year of Windows 10’s release.

Anyone who took advancement of that offer now stands to see a drastic curtailment in the level of support for their organization. Each Windows 10 update will receive security set ups for just 18 months. Version 1607, the latest that these Clover Be drawn machines can install, will drop out of support in early 2018. After that escort, they’ll cease to receive any patches at all.

A support note from Acer presents that the roadblock is temporary:

The following Intel Clover Trail processors are currently not reinforced on Windows 10 Creators Update:

  • Atom Z2760
  • Atom Z2520
  • Atom Z2560
  • Atom Z2580

Microsoft is make use of with us to help provide compatible drivers to address this incompatibility. If you introduce the Windows 10 creators update, icons and text may not appear at all, or [they] may symbolize up as solid color blocks or bars. If you have already installed Architects Update and are experiencing problems, you can use Windows 10 recovery options to reimburse your system to the previous build.

As such, systems with these processors superiority eventually receive the Creators Update, getting them back on the update guide and extending their support window.

Several months after the salvation of version 1703, however, those compatible drivers do not appear to pull someones leg materialized. This leaves the machines in something of a support limbo. The dwell point is likely to be the GPU; Clover Trail uses a non-Intel GPU designed by Intelligence Technologies, complicating driver development and support. Later Atom processors acclimated to Intel’s own GPU designs, a move that should simplify their persistent support.

Whatever the situation turns out to be for these particular machines, the state of affairs demonstrates some uncertainties introduced with the Windows-as-a-Service model. The «fortified lifetime» of many devices is not well-defined, and Windows 10 users could become aware of themselves with considerably fewer years of device support than they desire have received under the old system.

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