Skylake – Pushing Windows 10 Adoption
Posted on 21 March 2016
Microsoft recently announced new plans in regards to Windows 10, which in effect alters their long term support model.
"Going forward, as new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support"
"Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel's upcoming 'Kaby Lake' silicon, Qualcomm's upcoming '8996' silicon, and AMD's upcoming 'Bristol Ridge' silicon."
This means that any new hardware purchased with the latest generation of processors (codename “Skylake”) will require you to run Windows 10.
Microsoft's reasons for this change is a little vague but Kirk Skaugen of Intel states:
“Windows 10 and Skylake processors were ‘designed together’”
This new policy emphases the importance Microsoft is putting on its latest iteration of Windows. In fact recent figures released by Microsoft show the number of operating systems now using Windows 10 is up to 200 million. Although this is still short of the company’s goal of having “1 billion Windows 10 users” within the next 2-3 years.
Does this affect our organisation?
In the short term – no but from July 17th, 2017 yes it will. Up until now administrators within companies have had the choice of downgrading operating systems with new hardware. Often to comply with internal policies, software and upgrade refreshes. For example Windows XP was sold for nine years as a preinstalled option after it was first introduced (stopped being a preinstall option on October 22, 2010). This is a far cry from Windows 8.1 which is going to have just 3 years as a preinstall option. After this organisations are going to be forced into using Windows 10 unless you purchase old hardware which will get harder to source.
Windows 7 and 8.1 are still going to be supported. These two operating systems will be able to get updates though to January 14th, 2020 for Windows 7 and January 10th, 2023 for 8.1. But that is only if you are using older hardware (not the latest Intel, AMD or Qualcomm Chipsets).
Microsoft also says it will be maintaining a list of approved “Skylake” systems that will be guaranteed to receive support for Windows 7 and 8.1 through to July 17th, 2017. That gives enterprises an 18 month grace period before implementing upgrades to Windows 10 to purchase up to date hardware.
Final Windows Operating System.
This change is in line with the companies move towards services instead of products. Much the same as Microsoft Office is now being sold as a service, Microsoft see Windows 10 as the “final” version of Windows and this change better reflects that.
Author: Thomas Scott, 21 March