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Tech Trends: New Intel Processors Only Support Microsoft’s Windows 10

New Intel Processors Only Support Microsoft’s Windows 10

The world runs on Intel, or so the slogan says – but soon your business might not run well (or at all) if you’re relying on older operating systems.

With the announcement of Intel’s 7th generation Core processor, the Kaby Lake series, comes lot of excitement and a lot of questions.What does this new series mean for my business? Why does it matter? How do I get the right kind of support? Should I be worried about security vulnerabilities? The questions are endless. New technology is always flooded with not only questions, but fears.

Our team at Accent Computer Solutions, Inc. has seen our fair share of changes over the last 30+ years, new technology, and new protocol. To mitigate some fear and help resolve some questions, let’s talk about what this new technology could potentially mean for you.

What is Kaby Lake and Why Does It Matter to Businesses?

Intel’s latest core processor is called Kaby Lake.

To backtrack a bit, the processor is part of the computer’s central processing unit (CPU). The CPU is basically the brain of your computer. It runs all the programs on your computer and processes the instructions you give it. Like when you click on an icon to open that program.

Currently, there are over 20 Kaby Lake chips out on the market, plus a line of mobile processors.

What does this mean for you? SPEED like you have never thought imaginable. But along with speed comes Intel’s new “in with the new, out with the old” attitude. That new approach is causing a bit of a frenzy. 

Will My Windows Operating System Work with the New Kaby Lake?

Windows 10 is the ONLY Windows operating system that will support Intel’s Kaby Lake series. You read that right, no legacy operating systems allowed.

If your company, for whatever reason, needs to use older Windows operating systems, listen up.

For a while, you will be able to buy new desktops or laptops running Windows 7 that are using the previous processor, Skylake. But inventory of these machines is limited.

Before you point fingers at computer manufacturers like HP or Dell, it’s not their fault. This was an industry wide decision.

Microsoft’s end-of-life schedule has been the catalyst for many forced upgrades in the past. This time, something more notable has occurred. Another major technology player is no longer supporting older technology, while Microsoft continues to support it.

Note: This is the first noteable time that a major technology player has outdated Microsoft faster than Microsoft itself.

What Does Lack of Windows Legacy Support Mean for Me?

There is a small margin of time for your company to make proper arrangements for any legacy systems you and your IT professional note as necessary.

Dell will TEMPORARILY be offering 6th generation processors in their new line of computers. Again, TEMPORARILY!  If your IT environment is only compatible with older operating systems, such as Windows 7 or 8, you’ll need to act fast if you need to buy a new computer. It’s unclear how long inventory will last. Dell has issued a warning that units will probably run out before their industry offering date, which is the end of October 2017.

Once manufacturers stop building computers using older processors, or once inventory runs out, it’s going to be tough for businesses that still use older operating systems. And there are plenty that still do for a variety of reasons. Most of the time, it comes down to compatibility with a major business application.

What Are My Options If My Computer Isn't Compatible?

If you need computers with older processors and operating systems, you still have a few options.

One would be to find used or refurbished equipment on eBay or other online retailers. Another would be to deploy a Windows virtual machine on Windows 10 and install Windows 7 on the virtual machine.

The best option for most companies will be to plan your transition to an updated environment. You can kick the can down the road for a while, but the problem isn’t going to go away. Technology will continue to advance, and more changes like this will come.

There has never been a better time to work closely with your managed IT service provider. Talk to them about your business’s goals and work with them to build a technology plan that will work for years to come. If you have concerns about your company’s ability to make this change, schedule a meeting with your IT team about the future of your technology.


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Topics: Tech Trends