Microsoft has decided to reverse its position regarding support of Windows 7 and 8 on systems using Intel's Skylake platform.
In January, the company said that it would only guarantee full extended support for Skylake systems running Windows 7 and 8.1 up until 17 July 2017. Microsoft now plans to offer full extended support for these systems for one more year, until 17 July 2018.
The company has decided to prolong its period of extended support after receiving feedback from business customers who felt as though the company was abandoning their systems too quickly and thus forcing them to upgrade to Windows 10.
Now Skylake systems running either Windows 7 or 8.1 will be fully supported until 2018 after which they will only receive critical security updates. Windows 7 will continue to receive security updates until 14 January 2020 and Windows 8.1 will receive these updates until 10 January 2023. However, only systems that appear on the official list that Microsoft released in February and OEM supported devices will be able to take advantage of the company's extended support of previous iterations of Windows.
This is great news for many businesses who were planning to purchase new hardware running Skylake but were reluctant to update all of their systems to Windows 10. Now it will be possible to downgrade supported machines to either Windows 7 or 8.1 and receive full support from Microsoft for at least the next few years.
Since its release in July, Microsoft has been trying its hardest to ensure that all Windows users make the switch to Windows 10. By allowing business users extra time the company will be able to retain its hold on the enterprise PC market and avoid alienating a large share of its professional users.