Just because your computer can run Windows 10 with aplomb right now, it doesn’t mean it’s going to get all the Windows 10 versions that Microsoft will launch — and the company won’t move past number 10 anytime soon, so they’ll all be Windows 10 versions. This shouldn’t sound too surprising, as the same thing happens with Macs: Aging models get discontinued as macOS gets more sophisticated.
But it turns out that some users rocking Intel Clover Trail Atom machines were surprised to discover an unpleasant message while trying to get the latest Windows 10 Creators Update installed.
“Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC,” the message said, advising them to not proceed with the install.
This may sound like a counterintuitive move for a company that annoyed users with Windows 10 update prompts. All of a sudden, the company seemed to be dropping support for some unlucky people.
But, as PC World explains, Windows 10 support is not entirely a Microsoft-only matter. The company will only support a device for as long as the chipmaker keep supporting the processor that powers it.
In this case, Intel dropped official support for Clover Trail CPUs, which means Microsoft had to kill support for all the computers based on Atom chips.
“[These] systems are no longer supported by Intel… and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact,” Microsoft says.
So even if your Atom PC experience is still great, you can’t have Creators Update or any of the updates that will follow it.
PC World rightly points out that Microsoft’s statement is worrying because of its broadness. The company may choose to suspend updates for any device as long as a particular component stops receiving official support from the manufacturer.
But Microsoft did say it’s working with chip makers to find support for older hardware. It’s not like Microsoft wants to stop the growth of Windows 10 by preventing devices that could run the software from actually installing the latest updates.
From a different point of view, if your computer’s chip is so old that it won’t receive official support anymore, it’s probably time to consider an upgrade.