Starting this month, Microsoft has stopped delivering updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 operating systems running on modern processor models, such as Intel 7th Generation (Kaby Lake) and AMD 7th Generation (Bristol Ridge).
Microsoft says that support for new CPU models will only be provided for Windows 10, its latest OS, and not Windows 7 and 8.1, which are approaching their end-of-life.
Microsoft announced its intentions in January 2016, and then in March and August of the same year. The company never announced a specific deadline for this move, and even if a support topic popped up online in March 2017, this month's Patch Tuesday caught many PC owners by surprise.
This month, updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 users on newer CPUs display the following warning:
After this month's updates, Windows 7 and 8.1 users will receive one of the following errors when scanning or attempting to download Windows updates.
Owners of the following 7th generation CPU models are known to be affected: Intel seventh-generation processors (Intel Core ix 7xxx), AMD “Bristol Ridge/Ryzem/Zen,” and Qualcomm “8996.”
This doesn't mean Microsoft will support all older CPU models on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 either, as the company currently lists 16 OEM vendors for which it will support Intel's 6th generation of processors, also known as Skylake.
For owners of newer CPU models still running Windows 7 and 8.1, the Redmond company recommends they update to Windows 10.