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I’m not Brian, but I can confirm that:
Microsoft said in 2017 that computers (mostly tablets) shipping with certain Intel Atom processors (specifically, Atom Z2xxx) will not receive recent Windows 10 feature updates; for these machines, Anniversary Update (Version 1607) will be the last feature update, with support ending in January 2023.
Also, based on data I have and personal tests, I can say for certain that:
- 32-bit support is in slow decline, with OEM’s told to no longer produce 32-bit systems, specifically May 2020 Update (Version 2004( and later will not be preinstalled on 32-bit systems. Making matters complicated is mixed reception of Windows 10 on ARM64 chips.
- Certain Windows 10 features (mostly dealing with virtualization features) will require more recent processors. Specifically, any processor produced after 2006 are compatible, although more recent processors (say, produced after 2011) will let Windows take advantage of hardware features. Special note for VMware users: you’ll need second generation Intel Core (Sandy Bridge) or later processors for certain scenarios under May 2020 Update and later.
- Support for a given hardware by a Windows 10 feature update depends on manufacturers’ support duration and attitude, mostly concerning drivers.
- A system will be blocked from receiving feature updates if one or more of the following is true: unsupported hardware (see above), app compatibility (mostly dealing with older releases of an app that Microsoft is told it can cause issues), outdated drivers, and certain Windows settings.
A few weeks ago I wrote on another list that one must treat Windows 10 as a service, and that the days of waiting for years to get major releases is over. In other words, you must treat Windows 10 upgrades as akin to mobile OS upgrades, as it is essentially what it has come down to (at least attitude wise). It is both a good news and a bad news: good news because folks can get latest features quickly; bad news as we (screen reader developers and users) must keep up with changes at a faster pace.
firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> On Behalf Of
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 9:31 AMTo:
Re: Question regarding installing a new installation of Windows 8/8.1
Brian, you wrote:
"It is now, and always has been, for sane users, a choice among what is currently under support for the hardware they have."
This is regarding a message I just received last night from another mailing list regarding a user who needs to upgrade his OS but is concerned about installing Windows 10. His concern has to do with the hardware support in that he's wondering how often Microsoft would choose to stop supporting specific hardware. I might have dismissed this concern but I do remember reading that a certain chipset would no longer support Windows 10 beyond a certain build. As I only read one report about this my assumption is that this is a rare event. However, the user wondered if it might be better to at least install an OS that he absolutely knows has three years of support as opposed to a more modern OS which could be yanked from support for his machine at any time. As this is likely a rare occurrence I'd personally take my chances with Windows 10 but I wanted to know how valid this concern is.
Assistive Technology Specialist
JAWS Certified, 2019
On 8/11/2020 12:11 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 11:29 AM, Joseph Lee wrote:
This begs the question: did your friend tell you their reasons for not upgrading to Windows 10 for free?
That would be interesting to know.
But regardless of the reason, I have gotten pretty adamant with my clients about Windows 10 or nothing if the question of upgrading arises. It is completely unsafe to use any unsupported OS in contact with the internet. Windows 8.1, unless someone already uses it, has been much more difficult for most Windows users to adjust to because it made a tectonic shift in presumptions about how things would be accessed, skewing almost entirely toward touch, that simply never materialized. It's also got its clock ticking.
I won't even consider installing Windows 7 under any circumstances or any other version of Windows prior to 8.1, as they're all out of support.
And the sooner people, all of 'em, get over the idea that, "I don't like it," being a legitimate reason to reject an operating system the better. It is now, and always has been, for sane users, a choice among what is currently under support for the hardware they have. Choosing otherwise is willful stupidity (and, as someone who does this for a living, also would potentially expose me to liability I refuse to be exposed to).
There are things about Windows 10 I don't like, there were many things about Windows 8/8.1 I despised, there were things about Windows 7 I didn't like - see the pattern? But what you actually use is what Microsoft supports, not what you personally prefer.
Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1909, Build 18363
The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it.
~ Lawrence Krauss