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Richi Jennings

IT Blogwatch

By Richi Jennings

Opinion

Microsoft Windows 10 support Skylake Terry Myerson

“Always, what guides us is a customer-first approach [and a] commitment to all of our Windows customers.”

Credit: Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft makes this full-of-fail “clarification” to its Windows support policy. With zero notice, older versions of Windows lose their support status on the latest PC hardware—your downgrade rights have effectively been wrenched from your hands.

The way it's always been up until now is this: Enterprises could buy today's hardware, but put their current image on it, only upgrading when it made sense. But with this move, Microsoft changes everything—and with no warning!

Yeah, you heard right: You can't use Windows 7 nor 8.1 on Skylake CPUs or later—only Windows 10. There's a woolly, limited get-out-of-jail-free card for a brief period, but this is just the latest ludicrous Microsoft scheme to get you onto Windows 10. So much for the four years of support life that Windows 7 had last week.

Personally, I'd be screaming at my MSFT salesdroid if I were a CIO. Perhaps even talking to the company lawyers.

What the heck is Terry Myerson thinking? And why did he bury this important change in a rambling “momentum” blog post? I predict another “clarification” soon, undoing this ridiculous policy change.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wield flaming pitchforks. Not to mention: How does Beardyman do that?...

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
[Developing story: Updated 3:49 pm, 2:19 am, 2:44 pm and 6:00 am PT with more comment]


What's the craic? Ed Bott reports—Microsoft updates support policy: New CPUs will require Windows 10:

Must run Windows 10

In a change to its longstanding support policy, Microsoft says PCs based on new CPU[s] will require Windows 10.

Historically...Microsoft's support lifecycle [offered] a generous ten years of support for each Windows release. Effective today, that policy is changing.

In a series of "clarifications"...the company announced that support for...Windows [7 and 8.1] will be available only for "previous generations of silicon."

New consumer-based Skylake devices must run Windows 10. [But] Microsoft will publish "a list of specific new Skylake devices we will support to run Windows 7 and Windows 8.1." [But only] for 18 months.


Get that? Dante D'Orazio feeds the fire—Microsoft says new processors will only work with Windows 10:

Legacy hardware obligations

[It] doesn't mean that Windows 7 and 8.1 are no longer supported. ... The two operating systems will continue to get updates through...2020 and...2023, respectively. But that's only if you're using hardware that was contemporaneous.

[But] Intel's current, sixth generation processors, known as Skylake, are the first that won't support either of the older versions. [You] can still buy older PC hardware...the last generation of supported Intel processors are known as Broadwell, and those chips are still widely available.

While Microsoft will fullfill its legacy hardware obligations, it won't be expending resources to help users steer clear of its latest and greatest.


Here's the horse's mouth. That would be Terry Myerson, spinning thuswise—Windows 10 Embracing Silicon Innovation:

Challenging

We’ve seen...over 200 million active devices already running Windows 10 and unprecedented demand from...enterprise customers.

For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7’s expectations...which is challenging.

We know many of these customers continue to rely on Windows 7. [It] will continue to be supported...on the down-level silicon it was designed for.

Windows 10 will be the only supported [version] on Intel’s upcoming “Kaby Lake”...Qualcomm’s upcoming “8996”...and AMD’s upcoming “Bristol Ridge”.


Ouch. Gordon Kelly cuts to the chase, with Microsoft Makes Windows 7 And Windows 8 Support Worse:

Refusing to honour

Think your copy of Windows 7 is supported? ... Think your copy of Windows 8 is supported? ... Think again.

Microsoft is...refusing to support Windows 7 and Windows 8 on Intel’s current generation ‘Skylake’ processors, with the exception of a “list of specific...devices.”

Yes, you read this right: Microsoft is breaking from 31 years of Windows history by refusing to honour its promised Windows lifecycles.


Double ouch. Paul Thurrott cuts to the chase—Microsoft Finds Another Way to Force Windows 10 Upgrade on Businesses:

Any means necessary

This behavior is mostly hard to justify, and is a far more serious issue than the non-existent Windows 10 privacy issues that others carp about.

And I am reasonably sure this has never happened before.

There isn’t a business on earth that would go to the trouble of deploying on Skylake hardware now only to have to upgrade to Windows 10 in the near future.

In other words, this is more of the same: Microsoft pushing customers to Windows 10 by any means necessary.


Update 1: But what if there's a good reason? Peter Bright shines a light—Skylake users given 18 months to upgrade to Windows 10:

No mention of server

The company's official reason for this change is a little opaque. ... It's not entirely clear what hardware changes are really motivating this.

Skylake, for example, has a certain degree of autonomous power management, allowing the chip to respond more quickly to changing demands than the operating system can. ... Similarly, platform features...include all manner of complexity.

[But] this burden seems like something that the hardware companies can make decisions about themselves.

This may well prove awkward for enterprise customers. ... Microsoft's announcement makes no mention of its server operating systems. [Will] these will be subject to the same policy?


Update 2: It's at times like this that we need a dose of summarizing snark. Who better to turn to than Richard Chirgwin? Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs :

Canned quotes

Microsoft has somehow persuaded the big names of silicon that it would be better for all concerned if they quietly euthanize Windows 7 and 8.1.

[They] occupied the same room without injury long enough to promise that future products...will not be sullied with Windows 7 or 8.1.

OEMs also formed into well-ordered, obedient ranks, with Lenovo, HP...and Dell all politely providing canned quotes.


At which, Trevor Pott calls MSFT out as douchecanoes extraordinare:

The trust is gone

Asshats. I hope they drown in their own hubris.

The trust is gone. May they never earn it back.


Update 3: Sadly for Microsoft, the criticisms keen coming. Even the normally-reserved Peter Gothard waxes excoriating, with Microsoft abandons old Windows 7 and 8.1 support for Skylake in latest forced Windows 10 upgrade manoeuvre:

Microsoft will have to come clean

The announcement was buried in a blog post [that] in the guise of singing the praises of Windows 10...was actually issuing the death knell...for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

[After July 2017] users will be denied the kind of updates they need to safely run...without being compromised. [I] question what the caveat "if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility" will actually mean.

Microsoft's increasing trend of...forcing upgrades to Windows 10...is proving a genuine worry for enterprise users. [It] cannot be unaware that the constantly shifting goalposts in...support for anything but Windows 10 is causing genuine issues. [And] what will happen...once the "limited period" of free downloads is up?

Windows 10 is an excellent operating system...but a reckoning is approaching when Microsoft will have to come clean about policies that...appear increasingly sneaky.


Update 4: What do real users think? Well, William Hensley isn’t shy:

Fancy spyware

The EULA...when it's translated into plain English...reads something like...“We give you permission to use our software. This is entirely at your own risk, if anything happens to your data or system, even if it is caused by our software, it IS NOT OUR FAULT! It is YOUR FAULT for being STUPID ENOUGH TO USE OUR SOFTWARE.”

Same thing applies to the Cloud...it's safe and secure until it isn't. Then it's your fault that it no longer is so safe and secure.

Do the words Anti-trust even come into Micro$oft$ thinking? ... The fine will make the IE fine look like pocket change.

Not to mention the companies and people leaving for Apple products or moving to Linux. ... Besides that Windows 10 is nothing but fancy Spyware.

And Finally...

How does Beardyman do that?
[some elements are NSFW]


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or .
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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