Microsoft has ended Windows 10 support on some PCs that are around four years old earlier than many expected. This is leaving some users out in the cold and unable to update their machines to the latest Windows 10 Creators update.
Microsoft didn’t make this change known ahead of time, resulting in many surprised and confused users then they tried to update and received the following message: Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC. Uninstall this app now because it isn’t compatible with Windows 10. While there is no app to uninstall, what it does mean is that your PC is no longer compatible with Windows 10 and will receive no future upgrades, although you should receive security updates at least for awhile.
This is the big problem with the new Windows as a Service model. According to Microsoft, “Each Windows 10 feature update will be serviced with quality updates [security and reliability fixes] for 18 months from the date of the feature update release.”
If Microsoft keeps this policy, users who now can’t upgrade their machines will stop receiving security updates in early 2018, meaning that the cutoff date for these machines is only around three years before Microsoft puts them out to pasture.
So far, we have confirmed that many of the Intel Clover Trail processors are no longer supported including:
- Atom Z2760
- Atom Z2520
- Atom Z2560
- Atom Z2580
On Acer’s site, you can find the following: “Microsoft is working with us to help provide compatible drivers to address this incompatibility. If you install the Windows 10 creators update, icons and text may not appear at all, or may show up as solid color blocks or bars. If you have already installed Creators Update and are experiencing problems, you can use Windows 10 recovery options to restore your system to the previous build.”
Unfortunately, this lack of support for some devices runs contrary to what Terry Myerson, the current Windows boss, said when he announced the Windows as a Service plan. “This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no additional charge.”
Of course, there is a little caveat with this policy from Microsoft. “Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it. A device needs to install the latest update to remain supported. Updates may include new features, fixes (security and/or non-security), or a combination of both. Not all features in an update will work on all devices. A device may not be able to receive updates if the device hardware is incompatible, lacking current drivers, or otherwise outside of the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (“OEM”) support period. Update availability may vary, for example by country, region, network connectivity, mobile operator (e.g., for cellular-capable devices), or hardware capabilities (including, e.g., free disk space).”
So what’s the bottom line for you? If you have a machine that was originally designed for Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 and the manufacturer doesn’t officially support Windows 10, you could be at risk of losing support from Microsoft. But this shouldn’t impact products designed for Windows 10 or those whose manufacturers continue to support Windows 10 with new drivers and firmware updates.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.