Update February 2019 - see our most recent article on the end of Microsoft Windows 7 support here.
Microsoft is assuring Windows 7 users that the operating system will continue to be supported for years to come.
The company has been forced to clarify when it will end support for Windows 7 and 8.1 PCs running Intel hardware. Earlier this year, Microsoft said the planned end date for the current generation of Intel Skylake CPUs would be 17 July 2017.
I've heard of Intel Core i5 and i7, but what is Skylake?
Skylake is the name of the current generation of Intel Core processors for desktop computers. It is the 6th generation of Core processors, which first went on sale in 2015.
Since 2010, most desktop PCs with an Intel processor have been named Core i3, i5 or i7 with a four-digit specific number, eg. Intel Core i5-6500. Any Core CPU with the number 6xxx, is a Skylake CPU.
Later this year we will see the 7th generation of Core processors, Kaby Lake. It will likely have a number scheme of 7xxx.
Learn more about Intel's 3-generation "process-architecture-optimization" model here (previously known as tick-tock).
Microsoft now say those plans have been abandoned.
"Today Windows 7 is in extended support and support will end for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, and support for Windows 8.1 will end January 10, 2023.
6th Gen Intel Core devices [Skylake] on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 will be supported with all applicable security updates until the end of support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1."
The original 2017 end-of-support date agitated many business users. Many Skylake PCs sold today still have Windows 7 installed. Meaning support for their brand new PCs would not have lasted a single year. It's speculated the 2017 end-of-support date was an aggressive tactic by the company to push Windows 10.
New PCs will only support Windows 10
It isn't all good news for Windows 7 fans. Microsoft says the 7th generation of Intel Core processors (Kaby Lake) due later this year will only support Windows 10.
"Future silicon [new CPU] platforms including Intel’s upcoming 7th Gen Intel Core (Kaby Lake) processor family and AMD’s 7th generation processors (e.g. Bristol Ridge) will only be supported on Windows 10, and all future silicon releases will require the latest release of Windows 10."
Meaning current PCs on the market will be the last to have Windows 7 pre-installed.
If you're looking at purchasing new PCs or considering upgrading to Windows 10, contact your Sentrian Client Services Manager.