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  • Some historical perspective on the “Microsoft won’t support Creators Update on Clover Trail computers” problem

    Posted on July 29th, 2017 at 07:00 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ve been watching the furor erupt over Microsoft’s refusal to let Win10 Creators Update run on Clover Trail computers. Peter Bright has a good overview on Ars Technica.

    In a nutshell, folks with PCs running on the 2012-to-2014-era Intel Clover Trail Atom processor – they shipped with Windows 8.x – were offered a free upgrade to Windows 10, back when everybody else was pushed in that direction. Now, a year or two later, Microsoft says those who took the bait won’t be able to upgrade to Win10 Creators Update version 1703. Try to upgrade and, per Ed Bott on ZDNet, you get the message “Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC.” Microsoft has magnanimously, and uncharacteristically, stated that it will continue to provide security updates for Win10 1607 on these particular computers until January 2023.

    Of course, consumer response has been frosty. But the problem only affects a “small number of users” so attention soon shifts to another hot topic.

    Bad Microsoft. Windows as a Disservice. What else is new?

    One of my favorite bloggers, Günter Born, published an article earlier this morning that changed my perspective. Born goes through the reason for Microsoft’s block on the upgrade — basically, the Clover Trail computers implicated have an integrated graphics chip, the GMA SGX 545, and Intel either can’t or won’t provide a driver update. We’ve seen that happen before, too.

    Here’s what turned my head. As I was looking at Born’s links, I stumble on something odd. He links to a list of Windows 8 tablets that don’t support Windows 10. His link goes to a German-language site. Here’s a link in English.

    The Clover Trail-based computers that got hit by the ban:

    Acer Iconia Tab W510 / W510P / W511
    Acer Iconia W3-810
    Asus VivoTab Smart ME400C / ME400CL
    Asus VivoTab TF810C
    Dell Latitude 10
    HP Elitepad 900
    HP Envy x2 11
    Lenovo IdeaTab Miix 10
    Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2
    Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx K3011 / K3011W
    Samsung ATIV Tab 3 XE300TZC
    Samsung ATIV Tab 5 / smartPC XE500T1C

    It’s a worthwhile list, but what struck me is the date on that post – and the reason for the post appearing. In it, poster Tourniquet says:

    At the time of wirting this, there are a couple of first generation Windows 8 Tablets that doesn’t officially support the Windows 10 upgrade. This is because of the Intel Atom Z2760 GMA (SGX 545) driver. Interestingly if you tried to reserve Windows 10 a week ago, there wasn’t a problem, but now the GWX says it’s not supported.

    And the date… July 31, 2015. Two years ago.

    Tourniquet goes on to say:

    We can only hope that Intel will provide new drivers (for Windows 10), but they didn’t when Windows 8 came out for they Atom Z500/Z600 so you never know.

    So it looks like the Clover Trail problem is two years in the making. You can point your finger at Microsoft or, I think, just as validly point your finger at Intel. Why did Microsoft allow the upgrade to Windows 10? Why won’t Intel come out with a driver? If they could iron things out for the Anniversary Update, why can’t they get together on the Creators Update? How long have folks at Microsoft and Intel known about this problem, and why wasn’t it divulged much earlier in the game?

    Looks like there’s plenty of blame to go around.

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