Microsoft extends security lifeline for pre-Windows 10 users and here's why

Windows 10

Microsoft has decided, once again, that it will give more breathing room to users and businesses with Skylake processors who haven't yet upgraded to Windows 10.

It was back in January that Redmond first announced that systems running Skylake CPUs (and newer processor generations going forward) with Windows 7/8.1 wouldn't be supported beyond delivering critical security patches – only Windows 10 would get full support on these PCs, with an initial deadline of July 2017 being set which panicked many due to its closeness.

That deadline was subsequently extended to July 2018 when March rolled around, and now Microsoft has decided to push it further out – doubtless due to complaints and worries from many.

In fact, as the Inquirer spotted, Skylake will be supported through to the end-of-life dates of these operating systems – so that's January 2020 in the case of Windows 7, and January 2023 for Windows 8.1.

Interesting timing

Which is what most folks would have hoped for in the first place, anyway. Of course, it's interesting to note the timing of this latest shift, which comes just after the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer has just expired (at the close of last month).

Shad Larsen, Director of Windows Business Planning, commented: "Enterprise customers are moving to Windows 10 faster than any version of Windows. At the same time, we recognise that, in some instances, customers have a few systems that require longer deployment timeframes."

He added: "We listened to this feedback [and have] extended the support period from July 17, 2018 to the end of support dates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1; and we will provide all applicable security updates."

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).