Windows 10 will be supported until Oct. 14, 2025 — unless your computer has a Clover Trail CPU. Then you’re out of luck.
Microsoft released its latest Windows 10 update earlier this year. The name, Creators Update,makes it sound bigger than it is; it’s really a minor step forward. But about 10 million Windows 10 customers have to face up to an unpleasant surprise: Their machines can’t update to Creators Update.
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I installed Linux Mint on a seven year old laptop, and it works great. If there are problems in the future with Windows on my current computer, I'll just go to Linux.
I guess all the "gee ain't it wonderful that MS is giving us a FREE upgrade, don't worry, it's all good" people are beginning to see the long-term implications.
I will be transitioning any of my computers that cannot take the Creator update to Linux. Linux has come a long way but isn't quite there yet for the masses though.
It is amazing how well the masses can be served on Linux right now. Especially for a household with several older machines that can continue to serve most needs, while keeping a more recent machine available for those few functions that require near unlimited capability.
For several years I have been playing with different Linux distributions running on Oracle's free VirtualBox. I currently have more than 20 distros installed on a mid 2012 MacBook Pro that I previously had on a late 2009 iMac.
I have also been multi-booting using rEFInd. I am running several 32 bit distros on a late 2006 MacBook Pro.
Gaining experience at little expense beyond ones time in the present leads to a more secure future with greater control over ones computing environment.
A visit to DistroWatch.com will reveal a lot of choices.
(Full disclosure: I have worked in a past life as a sales engineer, so disturbingly familiar with the issue of this particular processor.)
This is going to be an interesting thing, considering that literally all devices that sold with a Clover Trail processor were tablets and 2-in-1s (aka tablet with a keyboard)--and quite a few of them only have around 32GB of drive space on the tablet itself. It was an EARLY version of the Atom processor, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atom_(system_on_chip)) which was designed for netbook and tablet usage.
We're talking things like old Asus VivoTabs, old ORIGINAL Dell Venue 8 (not Venue 8 Pro), the Dell Latitude 10 tablet, things like that. Basically some of the FIRST Windows tablets that came out, and so old that they aren't even being offered on the refurb market (and haven't been for years). The only thing that had a Clover Trail that even had a detachable keyboard offered with it as a standard option was the ASUS Transformer Book Trio (which was the VERY first Transformer released). The form factor of the typical Clover Trail device is far closer to a smartphone or "phablet" than to a regular PC or laptop (and in fact, pretty much fully half of Clover Trail devices ARE smartphones or phablets that originally came with Windows 8. They were cheap and cheerful devices, typically selling for at or slightly below $200 new and around the $100 mark when they were widely available in the refurb market) and even the cheap, cheerful and Chinese no-name manufacturers haven't touched this chipset for a few years.
(When I was a sales engineer--and worked with government agencies needing tablets--I did actively try to steer them towards at least tablets using Bay Trail processors (which were out at the time) if not a tablet with an actual mobile i5/i7 processor. The Clover Bay tablets were cheap, really designed for a replacement cycle far more akin to that used for smartphones than a desktop/laptop computer, and were really kind of sold as a Windows alternative to cheap/cheerful/sometimes-Chinese-or-South-Korean Android tablets that were starting to become common at the time at the sub-$200 mark; they weren't really even marketed as netbook replacements, more "hey, here's something you can run actual Office 2007 on and take notes at meetings" rather than "use this instead of your desktop".)
So no, this is NOT going to be affecting anyone's desktop. No, this will NOT be affecting anyone's laptop, unless you're using one of the first Windows 8 tablets that were released (and even then these were pretty much entry level tablets) as your daily driver; it's not going to affect a regular laptop like your HP or Dell ones. These are devices that, more often than not, barely had enough room for Windows 8 on their internal SD cards.
I can also tell you that the process of getting an alternative operating system on something like an original Venue 8 or VivoTab 8 is not trivial. Many of these tablets have a difficult time booting from a USB stick to even GET something like Ubuntu on (and yes, typically they do have to be booted from USB sticks, not from the SD card you can put in a slot--which is made more difficult by the fact a Clover Trail processor-using tablet often does not have normal sized USB slots, but a micro-USB that is used for power AND hooking up a USB device with a dongle). Tablets almost always use UEFI instead of a traditional BIOS (think of a UEFI as kind of a "bootstrap operating system" or a "BIOS that partially resides on disk") and older and smaller tablets sometimes have a 32-bit UEFI (which is explicitly NOT supported for tablet Linux).
I'll also warn that tablets are far and away the worst supported devices on Linux. Typically the most problematic parts are power management and the actual drivers for the tablet touch interface.
In the case of Clover Trail specifically, you can pretty much forget Linux entirely (unfortunately) because Ubuntu (and other Linuxes) are not supported for the exact same reason that Win10 Fall Creators Update won't support them--the drivers for the GPU contained on these chips is proprietary and the author for the drivers refuses to produce updates or assistance to Linux kernel writers to make a compatible driver. In addition, Clover Trail only uses a 32-bit UEFI and thus Linux is also out--and apparently this was a deliberate choice by Intel (http://www.extremetech.com/computing/136276-intel-clover-tra...).
At this point, anyone using a tablet with a Clover Trail processor is better served by either upgrading to a newer Windows tablet (these can be found easily enough NEW or on refurb for around $150-200) or actually buying a new laptop (and again, you can go on the refurb market--somewhere like NewEgg or Tiger Direct or even Amazon or Woot--and find refurb laptops about 2-3 years old with a full i3 or i5 processor for around $200-300). Even Bay Trail (which was the chip that came out around the same time as Clover Trail and which was used for higher-grade tablets and 2in1's--and which IS Win10 Fall Creators Update AND Ubuntu friendly) is hard to find anymore, mostly in VERY cheap/cheerful/Chinese kit and occasional Acer for under $200; far more typical is Cherry Trail in actual name-brand kit (Acer, ASUS, etc.) for around $250 new (and depending on your needs you can actually find HP EliteBook 12.1" 2in1s with an actual i5 for around the $200 mark). If your needs require a 2in1, you can easily enough find Bay Trail Lenovo and Asus kit for $140-170, and Cherry Trail refurbs from around $185 on up (Acer kit)...and if you don't fear the cheap/cheerful/Chinese stuff and want to get a Bluetooth keyboard for $10 on Amazon, you CAN find Bay Trail tablets for the sub-$100 market (sometimes as low as $70-75) on the likes of NewEgg.
Yes, thanks to the fact you're dealing with a tablet processor (which really has about the average lifecycle of an Android device, it's not comparable to a desktop or laptop that's expected to last at least five years and preferably ten!) and the fact that the driver manufacturer has decided to abandon support for this processor (especially as Intel themselves seem to have abandoned development of the Atom processors due to the bottom dropping out of the tablet market in favour of ultrabooks) AND deliberate design decisions by Intel that effectively rendered these Windows-only chips effectively means that tablets with Clover Bay processors are effectively abandonware at this point. Unfortunately, there ARE no good mitigation strategies other than "get a cheapie Bay Trail or Cherry Trail tablet".
As noted above (don't worry, just doing the Cliff's Notes version here ) the machines using this particular processor family affected (Clover Trail) can't really have Linux:
a) Typically these were small, cheap (sub-$200) tablets with no USB ports, which didn't allow booting off external SD cards, and which have very limited internal SD space (such that even getting the Win10 Anniversary Update can be problematic, much less Win10 Creators Update--merely storing the install files can take up to a fourth of the disk for a Clover Trail tablet with 32GB internal memory)
b) The typical form factor for a Clover Trail tablet includes a single micro-USB port (which provides power AND allows connections via a micro-USB to regular USB connector)--and often you cannot power a Clover Bay tablet while using a USB cable
c) These tablets do not use a traditional old BIOS, but use UEFI (a newer pre-boot environment that can be described as an "BIOS on steroids" and which provides a full "pre-boot OS" setup) which means that Linux distributions used have to be UEFI friendly; often these preboot environments are also set to not boot from an SD card
d) Due to an explicit design decision by Intel, Clover Bay chips only support a 32-bit UEFI (basically "BIOS on steroids" preboot environment) and all known tablet distributions of Linux (including Ubuntu/Debian/Mint, RedHat/Caldera, SuSE, etc.) only support a 64-bit UEFI--meaning that effectively Linux can only run on Bay Trail and above
e) The driver manufacturer for the GPU has been unwilling to give support to Linux developers to make a driver, and Intel has actually abandoned development on the Atom processors as a whole
So in these cases, really the answer IS "get a new tablet" (again, keep in mind that Clover Trail laptops sold for $150-200 new; you can get a new Bay Trail or Cherry Trail based tablet for around the same price, and the Bay Trail tablets can run Linux and the Win10 Creators Update). Anything with a Clover Trail processor really was designed as a device that (in businesses) would be used for about two years and then replaced--just like Android tablets or smartphones. In fact, many Clover Trail tablets would really be considered large phablets (usually these were in the 7-8" range, and when they were sold were the "entry line" tablets).
Unless you're using some early, inexpensive Windows tablets you should be fine (as stated above). Honestly any desktop or laptop (or really just about any Windows tablet sold after 2013 or so) should be OK as long as you have enough memory and processor.
(And considering that a lot of Clover Trail tablets sold with 1GB of memory and 32GB internal disk space, I'd argue that even Win10 Anniversary Update was pushing it! Really with devices that small, you shouldn't be looking at desktop Linux but Android as a replacement OS--and the average Clover Trail tablet was really designed to compete against a flood of very cheap, cheerful, Chinese tablets at around the $150-200 mark using Allwinner A7 chipsets.)
I know somewhere I saw a statement from Micro$oft that said (and I'll paraphrase it here because I can't find the link at the moment)
In Windows 10, when a hardware manufacture no longer provides driver updates for Windows, that system will no longer be eligible to receive Windows 10 updates.
Ok... how many of us have say a video card that's maybe 5 years old?
When is the last time you could get drivers for that device for Windows 10? (yeah right!)
How many printers fell off the support list because drivers weren't available for Windows 10 even though they worked fine in Windows 7 & 8?
And there are numerous other internal devices where the manufacture is no longer providing driver updates for the hardware...
This kind of dropping of operating system support when oem manufactures no longer provide driver support for older hardware is the real potential, 10,000 pound gorilla...
Sometimes, if one is technical enough, one can find drivers that work, or ways to make simple mods to the drivers to make them work. I have done that on my HP 8540w that HP abandoned on the next Windows OS = 8.
Considering it is a business computer, I was surprised about the abandonment - and won't consider an HP again. Try;
Find a computer with the same hardware - in HPs case, some of their own computers have drivers that work on older systems = lazy I guess = maybe more like DGAF.
google the right phrases
Find alternative drivers that will work for your machine... but it was the interpretation of the language, " In Windows 10, when a hardware manufacture no longer provides driver updates for Windows, that system will no longer be eligible to receive Windows 10 updates. " which should cause the concern.. as it MIGHT cause an otherwise perfectly good PC to no longer be eligible for Operating Systems Upgrades...
But it's just kind of the way I look at things..
I gave up HP when they abandoned my scanner. If they don't want to update the driver they least they could do is open source it.
My add to this thread is that too many product manufacturers only support MS Windows. I don't know whether this is by design or not. What I do find illogical is that if you are selling a product, you want it to work on all platforms. So why not Linux?
Garmin for one, should have a software interface for Linux. Also, I recently bought a new digital camera and scanner. Neither are fully compatible with Linux (only bare bones functionality).
You can't run MapSource or Basecamp on Unix without a windows/mac emulator. You can run the web on most any platform so where's the advantage to Unix?
I'd do what I do now with Linux on one of my Windows boxes. Run it within a virtual machine (VM). I have Win XP installed to VM on one Windows 10 PC to run several software programs that cannot run under Windows 10. I'd simply run Basecamp/MapSource and any other Garmin program that cannot be run on Linux in the VM.
I guess people feel misled as, IIRC, MS indicated a ten-year support lifecycle. As noted by others here, though, that ten-year support was predicated on OEM support.
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