NVIDIA IS CALLING TIME on GeForce graphics card driver support for 32-bit operating systems.
Updates for GPUs on machines running a 32-bit OS will cease in at the end of April 2018. Security updates will continue until January 2019, but after that Nvidia will stop pushing out patches, potentially leaving any machines left in the 32-bit OS era at risk of probing hack attacks.
However, if you have a Windows machine purchased in the past few years you're likely already on a 64-bit version of Redmond's OS so you can rest easy if your GPU is from Nvidia; casual Linux users might want to double check though.
Given 64-bit versions of Windows have technically been around since late 2001 and had mainstream availability since 2003 for Windows Server and 2005 for Windows XP Professional Edition, Nvidia's move to stop making 32-bit patches seems reasonable enough.
But there's likely a good handful of people still making use of 32-bit versions of Windows or Linux simply because that's what they had at hand when ordering or making a PC.
Machines still stuck in the past will lose access to any new features Nvidia pushes into its software that accompanies its graphics cards, such as the graphics calibrating GeForce Experience. But given those features are aimed at PC gamers, we'd expect people still ticking along with a 32-bit OS don't fall into that demographic so won't really give a hoot about lost features.
Of course, there's the risk that this leaves people happily plodding along with old Windows laptops and desktops - we all know parents or less-than-tech-savvy people happily ticking along with laptops a decade old - could be left open to all manner of cybersecurity nasties.
Some machines could be running Windows XP or Windows Vista, which Microsoft has stopped supporting with security updates. And while machines running the now discontinued Windows 7 will continue to have security support until 2020, Microsoft ended mainstream support in 2015 thereby making the OS less appealing than it once was.
The big problem could be old machines with Nvidia graphics left in organisations without budgets for a tech upgrade; think cash-strapped schools, libraries and companies that don't really pay attention to tech.
So consider this a mild warning to wake up and smell the coffee if you're running the IT for such organisations. µ
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