Millions of PC owners hoping to upgrade to Windows 10 face disappointment as major chipset manufacturers Intel and AMD are delaying, or failing to provide, Windows 10 compatible drivers for their hardware. With Windows 10 planned to be the first of more regular upgrades to the operating system, hardware under two years old is facing obsolescence.
According to Windows 10 upgrade documentation from major PC manufacturer Samsung, the list of unsupported hardware, and hardware that will only offer limited functionality, in Windows 10 includes some of the recent 5th generation Intel chipsets (Broadwell). A significant number of earlier releases from both AMD and Intel are also not available for those wishing to upgrade to Windows 10, according to Samsung.
Intel has been confusing Windows users hoping to update from 8.1 to 10 with conflicting messages on their message boards and on social media as to whether certain chipsets will eventually receive Windows 10 drivers.
This surprising development could significantly hamper Windows 10 adoption as a significant number of the unsupported PCs will be under two years old, including many tablet devices, such as Samsung’s Ativ range, which took advantage of Windows 8.1’s ability to run on low-cost hardware, such as the older Atom chipset.
This is all in stark contrast to the positive coverage the rapid upgrade to more expensive top-end chipsts received in Techspot which reported both Intel and AMD supporting Windows 10 with their latest drivers. Some users have taken the step of ignoring the Windows 10 installer warnings and trying to force Windows 10 upgrades through. Some on popular internet forums are reporting success, but many are also reporting that they are unable to play video due to Intel drivers not functioning correctly on Windows 10, so it wouldn’t appear this is a solution that will work for everyone.
Windows 10 driver problems haven’t been confined to manufacturer support either, with the Register reporting that the new mandatory update cycle imposed by Windows 10 on users was causing crashes and glitches for many users.
Further problems have occurred, as reported by ExtremeTech, where Windows 10 has attempted to install drivers for hardware that wasn’t even present in the users’ devices.
These issues are in danger of producing a perfect storm, where frustrated users choose to downgrade from Windows 10 to their old version of Windows or aren’t able to upgrade to Windows 10 at all due to their hardware manufacturers stranding them with fairly new hardware.
It would be a shame if Microsoft and chip manufacturers fall at the hurdle of the very first regular update, as Windows 10 has been well received by most reviewers when compared with the new look Windows 8 brought to the desktop experience. Windows 10 also has worked to improve security by reducing the reliance on passwords, and, in theory, the rolling updates will prevent the problems Windows XP had where millions of unpatched PCs proved easy game for hackers.
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