Windows 10 is undergoing a massive upgrade to the so-called ‘Creators Update’.
But suddenly Microsoft has confirmed millions of Windows 10 users will never get it…
Microsoft said that despite pledging Windows 10 feature updates until October 13th 2020, this will now depend on users running relatively modern hardware.
In short: if a manufacturer stops supporting your hardware at any point then Microsoft may not longer upgrade your version of Windows 10.
“Recognizing that a combination of hardware, driver and firmware support is required to have a good Windows 10 experience, we updated our support lifecycle policy to align with the hardware support period for a given device,” Microsoft said in a statement.
“If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update.”
And the result of a device or component no longer being supported is severe. When updating users will simply receive the message: “Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC”.
And to make matters worse, at present, Windows 10 will not tell users which piece of hardware is responsible for the cancellation. A user will have to check every part of their PC, from the processor and RAM to the hard drive, graphics and network card.
This sort of radical decision follows in the wake of Microsoft blocking Windows 10 Creators Update upgrades for computers using older Intel Atom ‘Clover Trail’ processors without warning or explanation.
Conversely it also said new Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Ryzen silicon will also be made incompatible with older versions of Windows to force them onto Windows 10.
This case is particularly troubling as having infamously pushed users to upgrade to Windows 10, these Clover Trail PCs were then cut off from getting new features just two years later. And with each new Windows 10 upgrade more hardware will be sidelined - as it stands - without any warning. It’s a very nasty situation.
No doubt many Windows 10 upgraders would have been scared away had these rules been made clear at the time, but Microsoft did offer one olive branch: it will continue to provide cut-off Windows 10 PCs with security updates until January 2023. This is 2.5 years before the end of the official support (October 14th 2025), but it’s something.
Ultimately, this seems to be a "cheap trick" from Microsoft. Never before did old versions of Windows exclude PCs from upgrades if they were deemed powerful enough to run that version of Windows at launch.
This also places greater pressure on users to upgrade their PCs if they want to keep receiving new features, something that’s unfair, given most PCs can run Windows 10 to a perfectly functional level. It also provides Microsoft with an easy excuse to reduce update optimisation if it knows it can cut-off older PCs each time.
Extracted from Forbes.com. Full article can be accessed here