A few days ago it was a rumour, but today Microsoft has made it official.
In a statement to the Verge, they confirmed that Windows 10 users on tablets running Intel’s Clover Trail processors will not be able to upgrade to the Windows 10 Creators Update, saying:
“They require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience when updating to the latest Windows 10 feature update, the Windows 10 Creators Update. However, these systems are no longer supported by Intel (End of Interactive Support), and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact.”
This was of course not what we expected when Microsoft announced Windows as a Service, and we wonder why Microsoft could not simply provide software switches which allowed these users to still use the latest version of the OS but without the bells and whistles such as Fluent Design.
The Atom Clover Trail line of CPUs from Intel was part of the company’s “Tablet Platform” built for the Windows 8 generation of tablets to compete with ARM processors. The Clover Trail line never really got much traction, but it’s possible there are millions of devices powered by these CPUs at the moment.
Microsoft has thankfully agreed to continue to provide security updates to the devices until January 2023, noting that this date aligns with the original Windows 8.1 extended support period, leaving users in theory no worse off than if they stayed on the also unsupported Windows 8.
This is, of course, true, but it does raise questions regarding the next change Microsoft plans to make which will leave millions of users unexpectedly left behind.