No support for new Intel CPUs in Windows 10 LTBS

It seems, that Microsoft’s Windows 10 LTBS (RTM and Version 1607) doesn’t “support” upcoming Intel CPUs – as an Interview with a German Microsoft employee reveals.


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Microsoft offers a Long Term Support Branch version (LTBS) of Windows 10 for business customers with volume license agreement. LTBS versions does not include Cortana, Windows Store, the Edge browser, and several apps (see Wikipedia and Microsoft Blog). LTBS versions doesn’t receive feature upgrades and will be supported for 10 years.

  • Microsoft has released the Long Term Support Branch version (LTBS) of Windows 10 RTM (Version 1507) in July 2015 (see).
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Long-Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) (Version 1607) media is available from October 1st 2016 for volume license customers (see).

The next Windows 10 LTBS build is expected in 2019 – but Intel will release two new CPU generations before 2019. Michael Niehaus from Microsoft Germany has revealed in an interview with German computer magazine heise, that Windows 10 LTBS (Version 1507) and also Windows 10 LTBS (Version 1607) won’t support new Intel CPU generations (Cannonlake, Coffee Lake). Here`s what Niehaus told heise.de:

  • Windows 10 LTBS will receive security updates, but no feature upgrades.
  • This means: Not support for new hardware feature in a given LTBS version

Because new CPU generations requires new chipsets, drivers are not sufficient to support the new platform. It requires new chipset drivers and also optimized OS code to fully support the new CPUs. As a conclusion, Microsoft requires a new Windows 10 version. Some details may be found within this older Microsoft blog post from Terry Myerson dealing with new CPU support in Windows. Only consumer versions of Windows 10 (and Windows 10 Pro/Enterprise) will receive feature upgrades that contains optimized code to support new CPU generations.

Niehaus mentioned, that there are internal discussions and discussions with Intel about that situation. But till yet, no solution for the new CPU support problem in Windows 10 LTBS versions has been found. Maybe we will see a modified Microsoft statement later, after the new CPUs and chip sets are available.


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