Microsoft turns off Windows 7/8.1 updates for Ryzen and Kaby Lake

Marlon E via Flickr. Click for original.

Marlon E via Flickr. Click for original.

Microsoft is giving Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users a heads up that if they attempt to download and install any OS updates, they may be blocked if they're running newer hardware. Specifically, Microsoft is no longer interested in updating older versions of Windows on systems with an Intel Kaby Lake or AMD Ryzen CPU inside (same goes for Qualcomm 8996).

Anyone on an affected system who attempts to download Windows update may see an error message, according to a knowledgebase article published last week (KB 4012982).

"Your PC uses a processor that isn't supported on this version of Windows," the error message reads.

As InfoWorld points out, it's not clear if Microsoft is actually blocking updates yet. A YouTube user named JayzTwoCents posted a video in late January showing he was able to update Windows 8.1 on a Kaby Lake system without issue. Have a look:

Things may be different now, or Microsoft might simply be putting the word out so that users won't be caught off guard when it flips the switch. Either way, this was probably inevitable.

Microsoft has been saying for many months now that Kaby Lake and Ryzen will only be supported in Windows 10. Initially it was going to include Skylake in the mix as well, but later reversed course.

"As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support,” a Microsoft spokeswoman told PCWorld last September. "This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon, while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon."

Microsoft isn't alone here, either. While AMD has been mum on the subject, Intel previously confirmed that it has no plans of updating Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 drivers for Kaby Lake.

The bottom line? If you're building or upgrading a system around Kaby Lake or Ryzen, it's pretty much Windows 10 or bust.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).