Consumers and businesses have always had a choice over which version of Microsoft’s Windows they wanted to run on their systems.
Even with the latest chipsets they could still choose to run an outdated version of the OS to guarantee that their proprietary software and specialised hardware would function correctly without the need to write new drivers and updates.
However this is set to change going forward, as Microsoft has said that running Windows 10 will be a mandatory requirement to use the latest chips from Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm.
Intel’s sixth generation Skylake processors are the first chips from the company that will be exclusive to Windows 10. AMD’s upcoming Bristol Ridge chips will require the latest version of Windows as will Qualcomm’s upcoming 8996 chips.
Microsoft is defending this move since it allows its developers to deeply integrate Windows with the latest chips. The company will also avoid the issue of fragmentation which has continually affected Google’s Android OS. Chip makers will also be able to forgo support for Windows 7 and 8 when designing new processors which will save them time and resources.
Previous versions of Windows will still be supported by Microsoft and Windows 8.1 will continue to receive updates until 2020 but it is clear that the company has fully shifted its focus to Windows 10 and is encouraging its users to do so as well.