Microsoft is blocking Windows 7 and 8.1 updates on newer devices

As it promised, Microsoft has stopped issuing updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users whose PCs run Intel's seventh-generation processors (codename Kaby Lake), AMD's seventh-generation processors (Bristol Ridge), and Qualcomm's 8996 processor or newer. However, those who want to use a next-generation processor will have to upgrade their PC to Windows 10.

Users may also receive an unknown error message when attempting to search for updates on an older version of Windows.

This error occurs because new processor generations require the latest Windows version for support. This isn't a matter of just missing out on driver updates to fully support the latest generation of processors on older operating systems - we're talking about a complete blackout of Windows Update on all fronts.

And this does, in fairness to Microsoft, make some sort of sense. As such, the tech giant decided that only Windows 10 would run on the processors that were of the seventh generation and beyond. Windows 7's mainstream support ended in 2015; its extended support expires in 2020, and would apply only to critical security updates. Windows 8 support ends in 2023. Microsoft is obviously pushing newer PCs touting the more powerful chips to use only Windows 10 if any type of update is expected.

We've known for a long time that Windows 7 has been the greatest challenge to Windows 10 adoption, but now there's more validation of that.

If you happen to be running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 we have sad news for you.

What's more, the wording is clear that this will be an ongoing thing. There will be, it says, no Windows 11. And the problem is exacerbated by the company's messaging via Windows Update.

With Windows 10 now installed on over half a billion devices worldwide, it seems foolish to try and resist upgrading to the new software. While there will be user benefits to this strategy, it also means that Microsoft is taking away a measure of control from users.

Even though Microsoft is breaking considerable ground in cloud-based services with products like Microsoft Azure and Office 365, PC-related income still contributes to the bulk of their overall revenues - specifically, from Office and Windows licensing.

  • Latoya Cobb