MICROSOFT IS THROWING a frayed and moth-eaten lifeline to users of portable devices running Intel's Atom Clover Trail processors.
Last week it was revealed that the firm would not be supporting the latest Creator' Update to Windows 10 on machines running the now defunct range of Intel processors.
Intel gave up on Atom last year, and Microsoft has been finding driver support for the Creators Update a problem, not just for Atom devices, hence the delay in rolling it out to many Intel devices.
Oh, it's like the heady days of Vista all over again. But with pen support.
Initially, Microsoft had said that compatibility wasn't possible and that it was the end of the road for Clover Trail machines, but now, in a rare show of compassion, Microsoft has agreed that it will continue to supply security updates (as a service, natch) until the end of Windows 8.1 support in 2023, even if you upgrade to Windows 10.
What you won't get, however, is the feature updates. Anniversary Update is the end of the road for you.
The Atom SoC range was born out of a need to create devices that would run both Android and Windows. Unfortunately, that appears to be biting Microsoft in the bum slightly, and with the only dual boot devices tending to be grey-market ones from China, Intel has been keen to draw a line under the whole thing.
For the record, originally, the Atom series was meant to support Linux too, but the plan was abandoned after poor sales of 2-in-1 devices.
But for owners of Clover Trail device, it's still a premature end to the road. Yes, a four-year-old processor isn't going to be on sale anymore, but it is worrying that Microsoft seems to be starting to prematurely build in obsolescence to its support for them.
Many won't even know what Clover Trail is, or even Atom - they'll just see a "not compatible" message. Meanwhile, the more tech savvy continue to rant on Reddit and Twitter, but it seems that the fix is going to be "too hard" this time so, you know, tough. µ
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