Windows 10: Windows 10 and the future lifespan of computers

  1.    14 Mar 2017 #1

    Windows 10 and the future lifespan of computers

    My family is using computers purchased in 2005, 2011, 2014, and 2015 (plus a couple of Windows 8 tablets). The computer purchased in 2005 is somewhat challenged in its capabilities by now, but it remains useful with linux, and its Windows XP OS is available for the rare time I might need to run some old program. The 2015 computer is an inexpensive cloudbook with limited capabilities. But the 2011 and 2014 computers are fully adequate for the uses to which we put them.

    The issue that concerns me came to my attention via my Lenovo Edge E545 computer purchased in 2014. It is only about 2-1/2 years old and is my main computer. Last summer, I upgraded it from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10. Lenovo indicated that they supported the initial release of Windows 10 for my computer (thus making an upgrade seem OK - see However, they appear not to support the Anniversary update (see This change in support is troublesome: suddenly, the upgrade to Windows 10 seems a mistake. In my case, after one update failure, I did successfully install the anniversary update, but there are hints there may be lingering problems. In any case I cannot tell how things will be with the next major update, so it seems I am better off reverting to Windows 8.1 now, while there isn't too much software I'll need to reinstall.

    The main issue though, is what of the future? With Microsoft's new policy, it sounds like there will be no way to stick with an older version of Windows 10. Once one has bought a Windows 10 computer, it seems that there might be no way to keep it going for very long before Microsoft releases an update to Windows 10 that is not supported for that computer. With previous operating systems one could keep the old operating system for many years until Microsoft stopped supporting it (or even longer for use with old programs if the particular uses do not involve the web and do not raise issues of security). For example, my computer purchased in 2011 came with Windows 7 - Microsoft says that that will be receive extended support until 2020. If I revert to Windows 8 on my computer purchased in 2014, extended support will end in 2023. But with Windows 10, there seems to be no guarantee that one won't be forced into an upgrade that does not work on one's computer after arbitrarily few years. (I do not find the language in the double-star footnote on Microsoft's Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet comforting in this regard.)

    And if things stay the way they appear to be at present, the failure mode seems unpleasant. If Windows 10 reaches a version that no longer runs on one's computer, my impression is that the computer will spend perhaps hours installing an update that will fail to work. If reverting to the previous version is successful, my experience is that within a few days, the installation will be attempted again, with no choice on the user's part, except perhaps a short delay. Will this then repeat, ad infinitem, until one finds time and money to replace the computer?

    I have not yet found discussion of the difficulties that seem to be posed by this. Any thoughts? Is there some better place to raise this issue?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    15 Mar 2017 #2

    Nick L said: View Post
    I have not yet found discussion of the difficulties that seem to be posed by this. Any thoughts? Is there some better place to raise this issue?
    With Microsoft maybe?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    15 Mar 2017 #3

    Just because the OEM doesn't support the newer (version) OS for that device, doesn't mean that device can't run it. Non of my PC's have Windows 10 support (drivers etc) available from the OEM. They are all happily running the latest consumer version of Windows 10 though with no issues. Support stopped at Windows 7 for my desktop PC's and at Windows 8.0 for my laptop.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    24 Mar 2017 #4

    I appreciate your comments. I may give Windows 10 a bit more of a try on my current computer, though I remain wary of it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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