Microsoft has decided to give more breathing room to businesses with machines running the latest Skylake CPUs who haven't upgraded to Windows 10.
Of course, the vast majority of organisations haven't upgraded to Microsoft's newest OS, because while an upgrade might be straightforward for the average consumer, moving an entire fleet of PCs (and/or laptops, tablets and so forth) through an operating system upgrade is a major endeavour.
Which is why businesses running Skylake-powered devices were potentially panicked earlier this year when Microsoft announced that extended support for Windows 7/8.1 on these machines would be withdrawn in July 2017, not much more than a year away.
However, in a recent TechNet blog post, Redmond has said that it has reconsidered this deadline, and businesses will now have support through until July 2018 – for machines on Microsoft's list (opens in new tab) of supported devices – an extra year of breathing room to push through the Windows 10 upgrade.
Microsoft acknowledged that it had received feedback from customers planning their upgrades, and the move was made to help those "who have longer deployment timeframes to Windows 10".
Furthermore, the company also clarified that even after the July 2018 deadline, all critical Windows 7/8.1 security patches would still be provided until the extended support for these operating systems expires (January 2020 for Windows 7, and January 2023 for Windows 8.1).
Previously, Microsoft had said that "the most critical" security updates would be provided, which again was a potential worry for businesses.
New processors, such as the incoming Kaby Lake from Intel, will only support Windows 10 going forward.
Naturally, many businesses don't appreciate what they see as Microsoft forcing their hand in terms of an OS upgrade. Much the same as consumers haven't liked some of the more strong-arm tactics Redmond has used in pushing Windows 10 upgrades.
Microsoft's move could also potentially dent new hardware sales. If businesses are refusing to look at a Windows 10 upgrade, then they might just steer clear of purchasing new Skylake (or Kaby Lake) computers in the future, sticking with old tech as long as they can.