Saturday, June 22, 2024

AMD is giving up on Windows 10

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AMD's CEO delivering the Computex 2024 presentation.AMD

It’s official: AMD’s Ryzen AI processors will not support Windows 10. With a neural processing unit (NPU) that reaches up to 50 trillion operations per second (TOPS), the Ryzen AI lineup is more than ready for the future — so it makes sense that it’d also leave the past in the rearview mirror. As a result, today’s findings are just a confirmation of previous rumors. But is this decision a big deal, and will it stretch toward other Zen 5 processors?

Microsoft’s Copilot+ sparked a revolution that left AMD and Intel scrambling to release new CPUs that are capable of meeting the 40 TOPS requirement, so it’s really no surprise that the laptops built around the AMD Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 and the Ryzen AI 9 365 will not support Windows 10. The chips were built for AI, and all of the latest developments in that area are in Windows 11. In fact, the Ryzen AI 300 series only supports Windows 11 64-bit and Ubuntu. This information comes straight from the source, as can be seen on the AMD product page.

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This is the first instance of AMD ditching Windows 10. Microsoft itself has been trying to do the same, and it’s planning to end support for Windows 10 by the end of 2025. However, that in itself might prove to be difficult, as the adoption of Windows 11 has been really slow. As a matter of fact, Windows 11 has recently experienced a drop in market share, indicating that some users are downgrading instead of upgrading.

These stats are worrying for Microsoft, especially when you take into account the fact that only 26% of all users currently run Windows 11, while Windows 10 holds strong at around 70%. Ending support for the OS doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will ditch their old PCs right away, but it still might persuade Microsoft to hold on a little bit longer. However, AMD is cutting the cord.

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In the context of the Ryzen AI 300 series, it’s not that big a deal. It’s hard to imagine these AI processors, made with Copilot in mind, in entry-level laptops that are still being sold with Windows 10. It’d be more of a statement if AMD abandoned Windows 10 support in its upcoming Ryzen 9000 CPUs, but that hasn’t happened. Desktop owners can still happily run Windows 10 if they wish to.

As much as Microsoft, AMD, and perhaps many more companies might hope for users to upgrade to Windows 11, it’s clearly not happening as fast as it should — and, as ExtremeTech reports, Microsoft seems aware of it. The tech giant announced that people will be able to pay for additional security updates for up to three years after the end-of-life period of Windows 10, effectively extending its lifespan through 2028. As a result, it’s hard to imagine AMD dropping support for Windows 10 in desktops anytime soon, but only time will tell.

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