No support for new Intel Cannonlake and Coffeelake CPUs planned for Windows 10 LTSB

Microsoft will not support the upcoming Intel Cannonlake and Coffeelake CPU architectures in its current Long-Term Servicing Branch version of Windows 10. Users who want support for the next generation Intel CPUs will require a regular ‘current branch’ Windows 10 version.

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The next update of Windows 10 LTSB is expected by 2019. In the meantime Intel has scheduled to release two new CPU architectures, but these won’t be officially supported. The LTSB version of Windows 10 is designed for long term support of hardware and software. It receives security updates but doesn’t get any new features, including no support for newer hardware.

Michael Niehaus, Director of Product Marketing at Microsoft, told Heise.de the company is aware of the problem but, “officially every new CPU and chipset requires a new version of Windows, which is the same for LTSB versions.”

Because the next LTSB version is expected for 2019, users of the current LTSB build 1607 can’t use any of the new CPUs. The expected Intel Cannonlake and Coffeelake architectures will only be supported by ‘current branch’ Windows 10 versions, such as installed on most computers.

Normally new LTSB versions should be released every two or three years, however Microsoft also released an update for together with the Anniversary Update. The first LTSB version saw the light in 2015 together with the RTM version of Windows 10.

According to Niehaus the problem is discussed inside Microsoft and with Intel, but he is unable to give any details on a possible solution because the CPUs and chipsets are not available yet.

“In the past you only needed new drivers to support new CPUs and chipsets, however nowadays chipsets need specific setting in the operating system to work with reasonable performance and battery life.”