Microsoft extends Windows 7, 8.1 Skylake lifespan

August 12, 2016 // 10:32 a.m.

Tags: #amd #bristol-ridge #enterprise #intel #kaby-lake #security #shad-larsen #skylake #update #windows-10 #windows-7 #windows-81 #windows-update

Microsoft has officially extended the support lifespan for its users with Skylake hardware and its previous-generation Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 operating systems.

While Microsoft had originally set a deadline of July 17, 2017 for support of Skylake chips in its last-generation operating systems, as part of its not-so-gentle campaign to upgrade as many users as possible to Windows 10, it has been having second and third thoughts regarding its decision. Earlier this year Microsoft extended the deadline for cessation of support by a further year to July 2018, and now the company has announced that it's adding another three and six years to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 respectively.

'Enterprise customers are moving to Windows 10 faster than any version of Windows, claimed Microsoft's Shad Larsen, director of Windows business planning, in the announcement as an apparent attempt to head off any suggestion that Windows 10 is proving unpopular with business users. 'At the same time, we recognise that, in some instances, customers have a few systems that require longer deployment timeframes. We listened to this feedback and today are sharing an update to our 6th Gen Intel Core (Skylake) support policy. We have extended the support period from July 17, 2018 to the end of support dates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1; and we will provide all applicable security updates.'

The new deadlines, which promise security updates for Intel's sixth-generation Skylake processors, see Windows 7 supported through to the January 14, 2020 and Windows 8.1 to the January 10, 2023. 'This change is made possible through the strong partnership with our OEM partners and Intel,' claimed Larsen, 'who will be performing security update validation testing and upgrade testing for 6th Gen Intel Core systems running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 through the end of support dates.'

The company has reaffirmed, however, that seventh-generation chips from both Intel and AMD - Kaby Lake and Bristol Ridge respectively - will not be officially supported under Windows releases prior to Windows 10, and that 'all future silicon releases will require the latest release of Windows 10.'
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