[3/18/17] Microsoft is blocking Windows 7 and 8 updates on Intel’s seventh generation Core i3, i5 and i7 (Kaby Lake), AMD’s Ryzen (Bristol Ridge) and Qualcomm’s 8996 processors. Devices powered by these processors must update to Windows 10 in order to receive updates from Microsoft.
The problem will manifest only when you try to run Windows Update, when you’ll see an error message: “Windows could not search for new updates” and “Code 80240037 Windows Update encountered an unknown error”.
Responding to a request on the subject, a spokesperson said “As new silicon generations are introduced, they will require the latest Windows platform at that time for support. This enables us to focus on deep integration between Windows and the silicon while maintaining maximum reliability and compatibility with previous generations of platform and silicon”.
And this does, in fairness to Microsoft, make some sort of sense. It wants to make sure Windows runs as well as possible on new silicon. It can do that on Windows 10 because it’s a current product, and it will be installed on most new-build PCs running these processors. It makes less sense to go back and optimise Windows 7 and 8, especially as the former is now officially in “extended support”, which will end in 2020. Windows 8 support ends in 2023.