Microsoft Axes Windows 10 Support for Intel Atom CPUs Just Two Years After OS Launch

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 4:43 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

In a worrying glimpse into our potential future, Microsoft has discontinued Windows 10 support for a number of Intel Atom based PCs, less than two years after its latest operating system launched. If you own a PC that has a discontinued processor, when you try to install the Windows 10 Creators Update you are greeted with the message “Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC. Uninstall this app now because it isn't compatible with Windows 10.”

It’s quite a bizarre message really, as trying to uninstall Windows problem wouldn’t go down well at all for most users. In fact, as you’d expect, there is no ‘Windows 10’ app to uninstall in the Windows Settings. Should the user attempt to install the Creators Update, Acer handily says “Icons and/or text throughout the Windows interface may not appear at all, or may appear as solid color blocks on some devices.”

The following Intel Clover Trail processors are those affected:

  • Atom Z2760
  • Atom Z2520
  • Atom Z2560
  • Atom Z2580

They’re not great CPUs, and are usually to be found in fairly low-power tablet/notebook hybrids, but it was a worrying sign of how Microsoft can just cut off support without a moment’s notice. Read the small print and all that. The move flies in the face of Microsoft’s new Windows as a Service (WaaS) model, under which it promised users would continue to receive regular feature and security updates to keep their PCs secure.

“This is more than a one-time upgrade,” said Terry Myerson, Windows VP, when Windows 10 was announced. “Once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost.” I guess he’s covering their asses with that one because the support lifetime of the device could be just about anything.

It raises plenty of questions over how long all of our hardware is going to be supported by Windows 10. Some of these Atom CPUs are less than five years old, could we potentially see more hardware support dropped soon? Hardware manufacturers are allegedly working with Microsoft to sort this problem out, with Microsoft saying “[We] are working with our partners to provide compatible drivers for these processors. Until then, Windows Update will prevent devices containing one of the processors listed above from installing the Creators Update.” That was April, and we’ve heard nothing since.

The cynical part of me concludes that hardware manufacturers really don’t have a huge interest in sorting this problem out. By their standards, a five-year-old CPU is almost definitely due an upgrade, and an error message could be the prod a user needs to get a new PC.

Where do you stand on the axed support for Intel Atom CPUs? Is this a worrying sign of things to come for Windows 10, or just old, underpowered CPUs that don’t cut it anymore?

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
2
Offline
18:34 Jul-20-2017

I personally think people who know Windows if given another option would chose a more efficient system like Linux if it had the same type of support Windows receives

1
Rep
45
Offline
22:57 Jul-20-2017

I'd certainly be more likely to install Linux than Windows 10 on an Intel atom system. Let's face it you're not going to be doing much other than basic web browsing either way.

2
Rep
191
Offline
junior admin badge
08:45 Jul-21-2017

Hear, hear.

1
Rep
191
Offline
junior admin badge
14:18 Jul-20-2017

MY REPLY. MICROSOFT & WINDOWS FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU.

-3
Rep
191
Offline
junior admin badge
08:51 Jul-21-2017

And no, I do not apologize for having an opinion. :)

0
Rep
11
Offline
10:46 Jul-21-2017

Don't give haters the satisfaction of apologizing :D

1
Rep
191
Offline
junior admin badge
20:08 Jul-21-2017

Never will (not for speaking my mind). When you apologize for what you believe in, you are disrespecting yourself and the things you hold dear.

0
Rep
11
Offline
10:50 Jul-21-2017

Don't worry Gankutsou they downvoted me for saying that no body can force me to update my hardware and that my PC isn't obsolete. It is just those pesky 10 year old's that are allowed on internet.

1
Rep
35
Offline
17:22 Jul-21-2017

Yeah, tell those pesky 10 year old haters that downvote comments for not adding anything to the discussion! That'll teach 'em!

1
Rep
191
Offline
junior admin badge
20:09 Jul-21-2017

I don't mind the down-votes. I'm not here to be popular. I'm here because I want to speak to people who know their stuff & respect each other. :)

0
Rep
327
Offline
admin approved badge
04:45 Jul-20-2017

LOL! By the time that Windows 7 security support ends in January of 2020 Microsoft could cut support for anything older than Skylake or Ryzen on Windows 10. XD

6
Rep
4
Offline
admin approved badge
04:01 Jul-20-2017

isn't atoms are for phones now, also the atom was in my netbook and had one hell of battery life. and alot of people don't realize it but the atoms where it starts at for new intel cpu architecture where they are the most efficient.

-1
Rep
10
Offline
02:49 Jul-20-2017

My favourite portable PC is an old N270. The battery last more than 6 hours. It uses 7, XP, And Lubuntu. I use it to fix a lot of devices: phones, tablets, others pc. Long ago i don´t trust Microsoft, i only uses his OS if they fit me.

1
Rep
3
Offline
22:34 Jul-19-2017

well to be fair it's not Microsoft fault here that Intel atom CPUs are discontinued and no longer supported by Intel! i don't think any popular hardware would ever be droped no matter how old they are!

2
Rep
-8
Offline
07:57 Jul-20-2017

Do you have a brain? There are multiple reasons to force users to use or not to use certain hardware. Some of which are entirely legitimate.

0
Rep
3
Offline
11:41 Jul-20-2017

and that's why it's not Microsoft fault that Atom CPUs are a discontinued architecture why should Microsoft support it when Intel won't?

0
Rep
6
Offline
22:08 Jul-19-2017

Well,considering that i'm running windows 10 flawlessly on a turion 64 x2 tl-50 from 2006 with an integraded ati x600 with drivers for vista , i think that the problem is the bad support on those Intel Atom igpu's.

6
Rep
8
Offline
20:51 Jul-19-2017

On Edge does anyone have this problem? When I click on somebody's profile and I see what they have written on their wall I want to see the commends on the topic they've written. For example there're 2 commends and I click on that. And after that the page does not load. To load commends I need to refresh and do it again and it works. This is so annoying. Any one got this problem?

1
Rep
-8
Offline
08:00 Jul-20-2017

Why would you be using Edge?

0
Rep
8
Offline
09:44 Jul-20-2017

because i like it more than chrome and now even have adguard. Which for me is enough to use Edge.

1
Rep
35
Offline
18:17 Jul-20-2017

Because Trident stripped of all the junk and legacy code is dece. Miles ahead of Blink. Also, people have preferences. Chrome is not objectively better, as much as the N O R M I E S would like you to believe. :P

0
Rep
1,041
Offline
senior admin badge
20:04 Jul-19-2017

those cpus mentioned in article are 2012-2013,
with nowadays trend everything 4 years and older being trashed, I'm not surprised at all and to be honest I do think it's better to completely drop support rather than reading complaints of users having sh!tty experience with sh!tty OS,
what's disturbing is the prediction that Microsoft can easily cutoff absolutely any hardware support if they just decide to do so, and that is very unfortunate for users who were promised to get full experience upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10, it may easily happen for ex. i7-3770K gets cutoff next, it's a 2012 cpu afterall

4
Rep
4
Offline
admin approved badge
03:57 Jul-20-2017

then my 4770k would be next but that still on w8, and i never upgrade to w10 with my i7-740qm though, left it at w8, that laptop (m6500) would've had lot of driver issues, cause their was alot for w8

1
Rep
55
Offline
09:28 Jul-20-2017

Well, my old AMD CPU (low budget for that time as well) can still run Windows 7, so I doubt they would try anything funny, considering the mass population using Windows does not have the latest hardware available... If they do it, however, and this becomes a regular trend, then it just proves, that Microsoft gets a profit share from CPU sales... Mafia style!

0
Rep
3
Offline
11:13 Jul-20-2017

Most users buy pre build machines such as laptops, that guess what come pre installed with windows. Manafacturers pay microsoft to use their OS on their devices. So can see why microsoft would do this

0
Rep
191
Offline
junior admin badge
14:25 Jul-20-2017

Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the users have to actually start coding themselves, if they don't want their rigs, equipment, devices to brick when M/W says so.

2
Rep
247
Offline
admin approved badge
18:30 Jul-19-2017

I don't remember intel releasing any Atom in years,and even back then they were the lowest-end CPUs,so I would't be too worried about it.

9
Rep
62
Offline
admin approved badge
19:02 Jul-19-2017

Intel Atom CPUs are ****. Btw this was published in one of Finland's news outlets before it was published here, and in the Finland version of these news Microsoft is working with manufacturers to make it work. Tho I have no idea who would want to run Windows 10 in an Atom powered device....

9
Rep
62
Offline
admin approved badge
19:11 Jul-19-2017

And these SoCs are 5 years old with 2.4GB max memory support. Who the fck wants to install Windows 10 on a device like that. People getting mad over something that is completely reasonable and logical

9
Rep
8
Offline
20:27 Jul-19-2017

Maybe schools, university's?? TO use this CPU?

0
Rep
1,041
Offline
senior admin badge
21:33 Jul-19-2017

"Who the fck wants to install Windows 10 on a device like that."
Microsoft obviously :P
btw right now Lenovo Yoga Book, Acer Aspire Switch, HP X2 210, ASUS T102HA, Lenovo Yoga A12, Lenovo Miix, ASUS E200HA, ASUS T101HA are all being sold with sh!tty Intel Atom cpus (1.44GHz quad core is laughable, as well as 2GB RAM which many of those have)

0
Rep
-8
Offline
08:02 Jul-20-2017

"Microsoft obviously :P" No, obviously not Microsoft. Or they wouldn't have dropped support.

2
Rep
35
Offline
18:04 Jul-19-2017

I would appreciate a bit more detail here. It wasn't MS and Intel going "lulz buy r new cpuz u guiz". In Windows 10 from the "Gold" (release) version until the Anniversary Update used the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0. In 1703, they had moved on to WDDM 2.2. Intel's Clover Tail Atoms don't use Intel's own iGPU but rather licenced one from PowerVR. (continued)

9
Rep
35
Offline
18:09 Jul-19-2017

For WDDM 2.2 to work correctly, proper drivers that support it are required. PowerVR hasn't supplied (and most likely will never supply) drivers to support WDDM 2.2 and therefore the support for the graphics chip, and subsequently the processors, ends with Windows 10 version 1607. This was neither Intel's, nor Microsoft's fault.

7
Rep
1,041
Offline
senior admin badge
20:07 Jul-19-2017

isn't it Microsoft fault because they promised and boasted about drivers being provided automatically via Windows Update?
but again, the solution of cutting off Windows 10 support entirely seems as only reasonable solution to me

1
Rep
97
Offline
admin approved badge
23:48 Jul-19-2017

i didnt realize that ms made drivers? thats like blaming ms for the lack of 3dfx drivers for windows 10.....as in, yes they promised that update would come through windows update but that can only happen if they are provided the updates. if intel doesnt provide new drivers, then intel is the only one to blame.

1
Rep
1,041
Offline
senior admin badge
13:07 Jul-20-2017

MS does provide generic drivers (that's why my testing rig gets utterly fcked up with every major Win10 build upgrade - hardware I use is uncommon) :P
of course hardware devs are responsible for providing support, and they can actually decide which OS they will support or not (in order to for ex. rise sales of newer hardware they do cutoff older hardware support themselves),
but Microsoft boasted and guaranteed old rigs can run Windows 10 just as good, and now they're just sh!tting their customers which I personally see as very unprofessional and disrespecting

1
Rep
97
Offline
admin approved badge
13:54 Jul-20-2017

Now Ms said they will provide security updates but no new features since new features need updated drivers.
Is that better?

1
Rep
11
Offline
18:00 Jul-19-2017

They cant force me to update my hardware if it serves my needs. They can shove they'r magnificent windows 10 up they'r ass. I'll just roll back to Windows 7.

-1
Rep
11
Offline
18:04 Jul-19-2017

5 year old CPU obsolete eh? So you are telling me my Athlon is obsolete while its still is as fast as any new i3 (with a bit of an overclock of course) and is capable of running all the programs and games that currently exist. What should i just sh*t out 500$ for a new bootleg PC which will do the exact same task the exact same way as my current PC meby do them a bit faster. Fu*king greedy cut's.

-1

Can They Run... |

Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3070 AFOX 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Pentium G2020 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 960 Gigabyte OC 2GB Edition 8GB
Core i3-9100F 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1650 8GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 Radeon RX 5500 XT 4GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 9 5900HX 8-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Core i7-2600 4-Core 3.40GHz Radeon HD 5770 1024MB 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-6800K 6-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 970 MSI Gaming 4GB Edition 32GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 Radeon RX 580 4GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-920 Quad 2.67GHz GeForce GTX 970 4GB 24GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz Radeon RX 580 Sapphire Nitro+ 4GB 16GB
| Ultra, 1440p
Core i9-10900K 10-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 3090 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 24GB 32GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 7 5800X 8-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 6900 XT 16GB 32GB