Microsoft announced back in January of 2016 that the upcoming chip generations of Intel and AMD would only support Windows 10, and not the more widely used Windows 7, or Windows 10’s predecessor Windows 8.x.
It was not really clear what Microsoft meant by that at the time, but we figured it out some time later.Â Basically, what it means is that Microsoft does not support these processors on older versions of Windows, and that both Intel and AMD won’t support them officially either.
So, no official drivers, and no support for new features that these processors may ship with on older versions of Windows.
Some or even all of these processors may work however; a YouTube video was published that demonstrated that Windows 8.x could be installed on a PC equipped with Intel’s Kaby Lake processor (check the link above for the video).
Unsupported means that some new features may not work as intended, and that Microsoft, Intel and AMD won’t provide support on devices equipped with these processors if they run Windows 8.x or Windows 7.
It was not really clear what AMD’s intentions where with the company’s Ryzen processors. Microsoft did mention back in 2016 that upcoming Intel and AMD chips would not run on older versions of Windows.
Information on AMD stances has come to light recently. While AMD appears to have validated Ryzen processors on machines running Windows 7 and Windows 10, the company stated that it would only offer support and drivers for Windows 10 (via Infoworld).
PC users who upgrade hardware components on their PCs, and those who want to stay on Windows 8.x or 7, face a difficult decision now.
While they may be able to install a Ryzen or Kaby Lake processor on the machine, and run Windows 7 or 8.1 on it, they’d be left alone if they require support. Neither Microsoft, nor Intel or AMD will provide support on unsupported operating system version.
So, if you want to run the latest Intel or AMD processors, you need to get your hands on Windows 10 if you want them to be supported officially by those companies.
It is unclear if Ryzen processors will perform the same on Windows 7 or Windows 10, or if driver support and better operating system support make Windows 10 beat earlier versions of Windows performance and stability wise.
This is something that has to be tested extensively, but it seems likely that without proper drivers and operating system support, performance and stability are probably going to be worse on older versions of Windows.
The decision to limit support for next generation silicon to Windows 10 seems anti-consumer to me. Windows 7 is still the operating system that is most widely used, and that is not going to change in the next couple of years.
Did Microsoft convince AMD and Intel to drop support for older versions of Windows? I cannot see any of the two companies drop support for the Windows version with the largest user base. We will probably never know for sure.
Now You: What is your take? Why are AMD and Intel supporting only Windows 10 for their next gen chipsets?