Although Microsoft is heavily publicising its upcoming Creators Update, it now appears that many Windows 10 users will be left out of the upgrade cycle because of their hardware.
Microsoft has previously promised Windows 10 feature updates until 2020, however according to a recent chat with PC World, that will only be true for those users who are running newer hardware. In other words, if a manufacturer decides to stop supporting a component in your PC, Windows 10 may no longer update.
Microsoft confirmed to the site that four ‘Clover Trail’ Atom series processors, which are now no longer supported by Intel, will not be eligible for the Creators Update and machines running that hardware will instead receive the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.
“Recognising that a combination of hardware, driver and firmware support is required to have a good Windows 10 experience, we updated our support lifecycle policy to align with the hardware support period for a given device,” said Microsoft, in a statement to PC World.
“If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update,” it added.
What is particularly concerning is the statement’s vague scope. It is not clear precisely what Microsoft means by device and ‘key component’, as this could conceivably cover processors, hard drives, RAM, graphics chips, sounds cards, or anything else tied to a device.
And what’s worse is that Windows 10 does not inform users exactly what piece of hardware is preventing an upgrade. Microsoft’s latest move to push users to get the best Windows experience may result in customers being forced to upgrade their otherwise perfectly functional machines, just to ensure they receive updates.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft for clarification.