Windows 7 and Intel Skylake processors April 23rd, 2016 By: J W Stuart
Why Microsoft may have extended the drop dead date for systems that use Intel’s Skylake processors.
In my opinion the initial announce made by Microsoft on January 15th, 2016 caught many corporations off guard. Their Capital equipment and Software budgets had already been approved late in 2015 at which time the Skylake issue was unknown to them, therefore no money was available to investigate and find long term solutions such as only purchasing only system that used Intel 4th or 5th generation processors and not the 6th generation Skylake processor.
By extending the Windows 7 (and Windows 8) support life date from July 17, 2017 to July 17, 2018 (Still far short of the originally published Windows 7 End of Life date of January 14th, 2020) this gave businesses time to include in next year’s budget (2017) the necessary funding to find a solution or solutions and plan implementation of same.
"Through July 17, 2017, Skylake devices on the supported list will also be supported with Windows 7 and 8.1. During the 18-month support period, these systems should be upgraded to Windows 10 to continue receiving support after the period ends. After July 2017, the most critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for these configurations, and will be released if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices.
Our Commitment to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 Customers
At the same time, we know many of these customers continue to rely on Windows 7 for its well understood reliability and compatibility. Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SOCs existed. For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7’s expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states- which is challenging for WiFi, graphics, security, and more. As partners make customizations to legacy device drivers, services, and firmware settings, customers are likely to see regressions with Windows 7 ongoing servicing."
"As we approached Intel’s Business Launch for Skylake in mid-January, we shared more details on our recommendations for enterprise customers on Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, including clarifications to our support policy for new silicon. A key part of this update was our commitment to continuing to lead with a customer-first approach. Since then we’ve received feedback from customers at various stages of planning and deployment of Windows 10. Led by their feedback, today we are sharing a few updates to our Skylake support policy*:
1. To help provide greater flexibility for customers who have longer deployment timeframes to Windows 10, the support period for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices on Skylake systems will be extended by one year: from July 17, 2017 to July 17, 2018. 2. Also, after July 2018, all critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for Skylake systems until extended support ends for Windows 7, January 14, 2020 and Windows 8.1 on January 10, 2023."