Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was able to get a record number of customers for its Windows 10 operating system after the latter’s launch. However, the numbers are dwindling. Hence, Microsoft is using strong-arm tactics in its bid to have 1 billion Windows 10 users by July 2018. If there was a message that Microsoft and its allies desire to convey in the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2016 is that consumers including enterprise users won’t have the freedom to keep utilizing earlier versions of Windows as they were habituated to.
Microsoft is focused on making Windows as secure and efficient as it can. This involves collaborating with hardware partners such as QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), AMD and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to make sure that Windows 10 fully exploits new features of the current CPUs and GPUs.
Last week Microsoft announced that purchasers of Intel’s new Skylake processors would have to shift to Windows 10 by mid-2017. If they fail to do so they would not receive all but the most important security patches. The patches would be available to Windows 7 and 8.1 users only if the patches don’t hamper the reliability or compatibility on non-Skylake systems. Future processors from Qualcomm, AMD and Intel will have official support from Windows 10, not 8 or 7.
This is an unexpected move by Microsoft. Skylake processors have been around for months now. Microsoft’s support for Windows has never been linked to specific hardware platforms. Ensuring new hardware is compatible with old operating systems takes time and resources and hardware and software are interlinked much more than earlier. However, forcing users to upgrade to Windows 10 is unprecedented in the operating system world. Microsoft has resorted to tactics similar to malware to force Windows 7 and 8 users’ upgrade to Windows 10.
Despite the big problems associated with decreased support for the previous version of Windows on modern PCs the fact is that customers and enterprises will benefit by the integration between the latest version of Windows and modern hardware. Each new version of Windows is at a disadvantage because of the requirement to be compatible with legacy hardware.