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  1. #1
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Hardware Updates Will Be Required More Often From Now On

    I'm getting concerned with the "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows" idea. My concern is that we will have to update our hardware more often than we have had to in the past.

    In the old days, when significant changes were to be made to Windows, a new version of Windows would be released. If you had an old computer, you may or may not be able to run future versions of Windows; but once you tested a version of Windows and found that it would run on your computer, you could keep using that version of Windows on your computer, that is, if you weren't worried about security patches.

    However, now things seem to be changing. If Windows 10 is the permanent version of Windows, continually updated and changed but always Windows 10, at some point your old computer will no longer support it. And eventually the Windows versions prior to 10 will be so old as to be useless. This means that you will need to purchase / build a new computer more often than in the past.

    I have a Windows Vista 32-bit computer. I upgraded it all the way to Windows 8.1. It worked well with 7 and with 8, but not with 8.1. Currently it has 7-32 installed on it. It is not fast, but it gets the job done.

    Now consider the computer I just purchased. It has a Haswell CPU and Windows 7-64. Eventually 7 will become obsolete, so I will at some point likely upgrade to 10. But there won't be a 10 "A", 10 "B", etc. There will just be the latest and "greatest" 10. In other words, the computer I just bought won't work with any current version of Windows, because the only current version will be 10, but it won't be the 2016 version of 10; it will have years of patches and updates by the time 7 is obsolete. This means that I may in fact have to buy a new computer when I finally get around to going to 10.

    Do you think the hardware vendors are happy about "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows"? I do, because it means that people will have to buy new hardware more often from now on.

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    I cannot see that the situation is any different now that it was before. The name may remain Windows 10 or Win10 or WinX or EIEIO, but a version upgrade is still a version upgrade. They did a version upgrade to Win10 in Nov that is little different than SP1 was to prior versions. Names don't matter, it's still an upgrade.

    There's always been a time in the past when an upgrade couldn't be done due to hardware limitations. You then had the choice of staying at that software level or upgrading the hardware. I cannot see that this has changed in any way - if your computer won't support an upgrade, you are at the effective end of life for that software version. The OS won't stop working.
    Graham Smith
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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    But now that there is Windows 10, where you can't stop the automatic updates, your hardware will eventually become unusable. In the past, you could turn off auto updates. And also, I wouldn't go automatically from Vista to 7, or from XP to Vista. It would have stopped when Microsoft quit releasing updates for whatever OS I was on. But the updates just keep on coming for 10; there's no cutoff point for the version you are on.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    If a WU or upgrade is not compatible with the hardware you have, it simply won't install.
    Besides, if MS does make a major change based on newer hardware over the horizon, you'll get plenty of warning.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2016-05-11 at 14:21.
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    Or perhaps MS is committing to freeze minimum hardware requirements at the current baseline level forever?

    OK, even I can't say that with a straight face!


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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm View Post
    I cannot see that the situation is any different now that it was before.
    <snip>
    Me neither. 'Twas ever thus.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    If a WU or upgrade is not compatible with the hardware you have, it simply won't install.
    Besides, if MS does make a major change based on newer hardware over the horizon, you'll get plenty of warning.
    At some point, the security patches and upgrades will simply stop coming, because your hardware is getting too old / too incompatible. At that point, you'll have to upgrade your hardware, because you can't go back to Windows 10-a, 10-b, or 10-c. We will ALWAYS be on Windows 10-z, i.e., the very latest version.

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    Would not the same apply to say a Win 10 machine bought in 2016 to what Win 10 could be like in 2020 or later ?

    My Tosh Win 7 x64 laptop has a HD6310 GPU which AMD has assigned to Legacy.

    With Win 7 after SP1, there have just been security updates, but Win 10 would seem to still be a work in progress.

    If this continues then hardware is going to reach EOL before Win 10 does, depending upon the severity of the upgrades.

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    It all depends on what hardware you buy. If you buy hardware near the top or upper middle of what's available, it stands a good chance of lasting longer and running more versions of an OS. Buy at the low end, it will be cheaper but become obsolete quicker. My current desktop was purchased 7 years ago and has gone through at least 4 Windows versions and runs like a top. I have no reason to upgrade (other than the SSD I installed).

    Jerry

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    It all depends on what hardware you buy. If you buy hardware near the top or upper middle of what's available, it stands a good chance of lasting longer and running more versions of an OS. Buy at the low end, it will be cheaper but become obsolete quicker. My current desktop was purchased 7 years ago and has gone through at least 4 Windows versions and runs like a top. I have no reason to upgrade (other than the SSD I installed).

    Jerry
    Because your CPU is older than a Haswell, you might not be able to get Windows 10 drivers:

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/305...ridge-pcs.html

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    harrumph ... when you effectively become a monopoly you can arrogantly give your customers the finger. Will someone develop 3rd party drivers to slipstream for older CPUs?
    Last edited by Fascist Nation; 2016-05-12 at 12:27.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Because your CPU is older than a Haswell, you might not be able to get Windows 10 drivers:

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/305...ridge-pcs.html
    Sounds like an Intel problem more than a Microsoft problem. in any event it only affects Miracast (which I have no interest in) and video which runs fine for me on the latest Insider Build. Even if I run into a problem, I consider 7 years a good run for a PC.

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    But now that there is Windows 10, where you can't stop the automatic updates, your hardware will eventually become unusable.
    It's going to depend a lot on MS.

    Currently, there's hardware that you cannot upgrade to Win10 because it's incompatible. The same was true of Win8, Vista, Win7, etc.

    There have been problems in the past with updates (not upgrades) creating problems due to incompatibility with hardware - mainly these were driver issues. There's no knowing if this is going to stop. The introduction of HAL with Windows NT was supposed to solve that but it didn't.

    Hopefully, MS will continue to check compatibility before installing upgrades (new versions). If they do then there will come a time where updates may stop coming for some machines as they age. I have no real problem with that, and I'll tell you why ...

    <on soapbox>
    This is not intended to hijack the thread - I include it only to point out a potential problem with maintaining backward compatibility.

    This is very simplistic but one of the reasons OS/2 never took off was that it tried to support both the newer hardware architectures and the old as well. This resulted in compromises that hindered the product - plus it didn't run well on the older computers which gave it a bad rap. OS/2 Warp which followed did better but the damage was done.

    Windows NT (built on work done in OS/2) made the break and was successful. I used both Warp and NT and in many ways Warp was significantly better. OS/2 actually included the use of virtual machines and was moving in a direction that would allow it to operate programs within protected mode virtual machines. And that was 20 years ago - think about it.
    <off soapbox>
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    Win 7 would allow users to install Nvdia graphics drivers from source onto an OEM machine which would BSOD because invariably they had been OEM modified.

    Don't know if this is the same for Wins 8/8.1 and 10.

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