A support page on Microsoft’s website confirms that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 won’t receive support for new CPUs. However the page also confirms that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users won’t receive updates anymore when they upgrade their CPU to an Intel’s Kaby Lake generation processor or an AMD Bristol Ridge or AMD Ryzen processor.
About a year ago Microsoft already announced that new CPUs would only be supported in the latest version of Windows, such as Windows 10. However, the Microsoft website now also indicates that updates for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. will only be available on older hardware.
When using a new CPU on these older Windows versions an error might occur stating, “Unsupported Hardware. Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows and you won’t receive updates or “Code 80240037 Windows Update encountered an unknown error”.
Microsoft also provides a solution on its website. “We recommend that you upgrade Windows 8.1-based and Window 7-based computers to Windows 10 if those computers have a processor that is from any of the following generations”, Microsoft writes after which the company lists Intel (7th generation) Kaby Lake, AMD (7th generation) Bristol Ridge (or later) and Qualcomm 8996 CPUs.
The company goes on to write, “Because of how this support policy is implemented, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 devices that have a seventh generation or a later generation processor may no longer be able to scan or download updates through Windows Update or Microsoft Update.”
In practice this means that anyone who wants to upgrade to any of the listed CPUs is forced to use Windows 10.