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

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    This topic contains 33 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  anonymous 1 year, 7 months ago.

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    • #127016 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      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 overvi
      [See the full post at: Some historical perspective on the “Microsoft won’t support Creators Update on Clover Trail computers” problem]

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #127022 Reply

      MrBrian
      AskWoody_MVP

      If I’m not mistaken, it’s possible that some PCs with the latest Windows 10 feature update could start to become obsolete after only 1 to 1.5 years have elapsed. By “obsolete,” I mean that newer Windows programs might not work on the PC’s Windows 10 operating system anymore, and the PC’s Windows 10 operating system can’t be updated to a newer Windows 10 feature update.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by
         MrBrian.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by
         MrBrian.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by
         MrBrian.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by
         MrBrian.
      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #127030 Reply

        admin
        Da Boss

        That’s a scary thought – and it seems to be more ominous all the time.

        The key appears to be manufacturer’s driver support. If a manufacturer like Intel won’t support drivers on their four-year-old hardware, “Windows as a Service” — more accurately, the fast, forced updating — is doomed.

        5 users thanked author for this post.
        • #127051 Reply

          FakeNinja
          AskWoody Lounger

          The whole idea “Windows as a service” and the new direction Microsoft has taken was a bad idea to begin with. PC and Windows sales has gone down extremely fast in the last couple of years and Windows 10 is only making it worse. Satya Nadella might have done a good job for the shareholders but if you ask me, he has done nothing good for the Windows project and Microsoft would be better off without him as CEO.

          5 users thanked author for this post.
          • #127263 Reply

            John
            AskWoody Lounger

            I concur the Windows as a service for such a vast hardware ecosystem was the dumbest move Microsoft ever made. This was doomed from the start.

      • #127044 Reply

        MrBrian
        AskWoody_MVP

        As an example, .NET Framework 4.7 won’t install on either Windows 10 version 1507 or 1511 (source). It’s probably safe to assume that a future version of .NET Framework won’t install on Windows 10 version 1607 prior to Microsoft’s end of Windows 10 version 1607 update support in 2023 for Clover Trail systems.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by
           MrBrian.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #127040 Reply

      AlexN
      AskWoody Lounger

      It appears the comment software deleted my reply due to the image I tried to attach…

      This has set a dangerous precedent. First, Intel allowed Windows to force their malware onto computers they probably knew they were likely to cut off from updates. Second, this sets a precedent that Windows can, and will, knowingly (maybe deliberately) push through updates they know they will suddenly declare “obsolete.” In short, if you buy a Windows computer, you’re buying a ticking time bomb because you don’t know if it’ll like 1 year, 2 years, or 10 years before Windows decides it’s time for you to buy a new computer.

      Fortran, C++, R, Python, Java, Matlab, HTML, CSS, etc.... coding is fun!
      A weatherman that can code

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #127057 Reply

        anonymous

        Considering the declining volume of PC sales and future outlook  it should come as no surprise that the bunch from Wintel want us to make more frequent system purchases.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #127325 Reply

          anonymous

          But how will that be here in Europe, where things have a 2 year warranty?

          What if one buys a promotional computer on a sale? One of those that are already outdated and they dump sell it for cheap? They will be under warranty for the next 2 years after the date of purchase. (this reminds me of my cell phone that never got an Android update from the vendor)

          Shops may only support the hardware and push you to Microsoft, but will they be forced to supply support for 2 years. Not that I care, I don’t buy new laptops – I don’t support these shady businesses. I only buy used laptops, eventually make a backup of the recovery partition, then nuke wipe it all out and install Linux on them.

           

           

          Another Anonymous

    • #127048 Reply

      lurks about
      AskWoody Lounger

      Both MS and Intel deserve blame but I would say more to MS. The W10 support/upgrade policy is murking at best as to when a motherboard or CPU will become unsupported. It is tied to the OEMs’ support policies and the chip makers’ policies. A perfect recipe for confused and frustrated users as most users will have no idea which specific chip is the culprit. So it is almost certain others devices suddenly cannot be upgraded in the future because there is no acceptable driver for the new W10 version. In fact, I would almost guarantee this will happen particularly with older hardware first then newer. Paul Thurrott noted this a serious problem for MS as users will find this unacceptable and MS will end up fragmenting W10 based on the hardware.

      Pre W10 support was easy to grasp for a user; 5 years mainstream from OS release date followed by 5 years of security/bug fixes. The EOL for W7 or W8.1 is easily determined and understood by all. Also, for developers earlier versions were feature stable enough that one could write a program that would work reliably. Compared to a badly fragmented W10 with devices stuck on specific versions, the OS feature set is unstable as features are added and removed with time, you have generated a developer nightmare.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #127060 Reply

      anonymous

      So I’m confused, is this like what Microsoft did with Windows 7 and 8.1 by blocking updates on newer hardware but the reverse where Windows 10 updates are blocked on older hardware?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #127147 Reply

        MrBrian
        AskWoody_MVP

        They are similar yet somewhat different. The former is being done by Microsoft purportedly because Microsoft wants users to avoid any problems that might occur with older operating systems running on newer hardware. The latter is being done because specific issues occur when running Windows 10 v1703 on certain processors.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #127075 Reply

      MrBrian
      AskWoody_MVP

      A third company is also involved. From Here’s the deal with Intel’s Clover Trail and Windows 10 updates:

      “Once that support drew away, Imagination immediately had to start a liquidation assessment and put itself up for sale on the market. All current projects have been stopped indefinitely, and all legacy product support has likewise been halted.

      That includes driver development for the PowerVR SGX 500 family for Windows 10. Eish!”

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by
         MrBrian.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by
         MrBrian.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by
         MrBrian.
      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #127156 Reply

        anonymous

        @ MrBrian

        Like the OP stated, the BIG mystery is that this issue about Intel Atom Clover Trail tablets being blocked by M$ from upgrading through Windows Update had already begun at around Aug 2015, ie blocked from upgrading to Win 10 RTM/Version 1507 from Win 8.1. At that time, this issue was not reported by most tech-news websites, ie the issus was only widely reported in mid-July 2017. Wonder why.?
        … The recent blocking of the tablets from upgrading to Win 10 Version 1703 from Version 1607 is just a continuation of the 2015 blocking event.

        In 2015, some of the affected Win 8.1 tablet owners resorted to workarounds to bypass the M$ block, ie a Registry fix, a clean install of Win 10 together with a forced install of the OEM Win 8.1 drivers, disk-cloning, etc, and upgraded to Win 10 RTM successfully. Most of the upgraded tablets ran OK on Win 10, right up to the latest Version 1703.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #127511 Reply

          anonymous

          … continue …. fyi (quoted from ZDnet),

          julienfr –> LarsDennert • 16 minutes ago

          Every WHQL Windows 7/8/10 driver is compatible with Windows 10 S.

          Win10S gets the drivers from WU.
          For older hardware, in case of manual install, if the OEM only distribute the driver as a .exe installer, run it in a VM on your Win10S machine (yes, it supports hyperV), or on another PC. then copy the temporary install folder containing the info/cat/sys files to your Win10S machine, and install the driver in device manager.

          That’s how I installed Win8 drivers on my 2013 Atom tablet on Win10S.

      • #127248 Reply

        anonymous

        @ MrBrian

        During M$’s 2015/2016 GWX campaign, the OEMs, ie computer manufacturers like Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, etc, had stated that they would not be providing Win 10 device drivers for old OEM Win 7/8.1 computers that could be upgraded to Win 10 for free.
        … IOW, the OEMs wanted to push Win 7/8.1 users to buy brand new OEM Win 10 computers instead of upgrading to Win 10 for free.
        … This anti-Win 10 OEM policy was a factor in the issue mentioned by the OP.

        It’s not certain whether Intel has joined this pact.

        Imagination Technologies(IT) had likely joined in the above OEM policy in 2015, ie purposely refused to make new Win 10 drivers for the PowerVR GPU found in Intel Atom Clover Trail tablets.

        PowerVR GPU are also being used in Apple’s iPhones, eg iPhone 5. The 2012-released iPhone 5 came pre-installed with iOS 7 and it can still be upgraded to the 2016-released iOS 10.
        … IOW, IT made new iOS 10 drivers for their PowerVR GPU being used in the old iPhone 5.

        So, there is something nasty going on in 2015 when IT refused to make new Win 10 drivers for their PowerVR GPU being used in the 2012-released Intel Atom Clover Trail tablets.

        It’s likely karma for Imagination Technologies to lose their lucrative contract with Apple in April 2017.

        PS:
        If Intel refuse to make Win 10 Version 1709(Fall Creators Update) device drivers for the 2013-released Intel Atom Bay Trail tablets, it means Intel are also in the OEM pact.
        … IOW, Intel and Imagination Technologies were colluding in 2015.

    • #127087 Reply

      flackcatcher
      AskWoody Lounger

      A couple of months ago ch100 laid out Microsoft’s transition plan to the cloud. While difficult, if done right (beefed up QA for the OS and middle ware, support for small business) this could have been a major winner for the CEO at every level for years to come. Instead, we see Nadella make one bone headed move after another. It’s like he is looking for  sinkholes to drive into. The single major mistake Nadella made as CEO was to disconnect  windows consumer division from the rest of the corporation. Former CEO Bill Gates understood to sell windows, business leaders needed  to use his products. In other words, a gateway. Do not underestimate the impact  the consumer version had on the CEOs. Understanding is always the single biggest factor in buying any product. And now, for the sake of what, ego? Nadella has thrown Microsoft’s single major advantage away. Intel faced the same problem a couple a years ago. They ‘resigned’ their CEO and changed their entire business model overnight. To call Microsoft’s collective and cumulative actions to date stupid, is a gross understatement.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #127094 Reply

      ch100
      AskWoody_MVP

      Just as a curiosity, last time when I tried upgrading a Windows 7 VMWare Workstation VM in place to Windows 10, it refused the upgrade based on graphics issues.
      However, Windows 10 could installed clean and run perfectly on exactly the same platform, only the upgrade was blocked.

      • #127110 Reply

        woody
        Da Boss

        Very odd!

        • #127112 Reply

          ch100
          AskWoody_MVP

          I assume it is related to licensing requirements and nothing to do with hardware compatibility. With Windows 10, the license is tied to the hardware. Probably VMWare Workstation VMs are on a sort of blacklist as all are on the same virtual hardware and this potentially caused that issue.

    • #127113 Reply

      Kirsty
      Da Boss

      Microsoft have published a list of minimum processor requirements for WinOS versions.

      3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #127126 Reply

        anonymous

        Wow.! … Even Win 10 Ent LTSB 2015 is blocked by M$ from running on 7th-gen Intel Kabylake/AMD Ryzen processors, ie not just Win 7/8.1 have been blocked.

        Later, will Win 10 Ent LTSB 2016 be similarly blocked by M$ from running on 8th-gen processors, ie in order to push corporations who wanna use new 8th-gen processors to pay M$ and upgrade to LTSB 2019.?

        Thank you for the list.

    • #127119 Reply

      anonymous

      Intel no longer makes drivers for my GPU, either, back on Windows 8. But I found that, if I just let the upgrade go through, and tweaked the INF file (and disabled driver signing), I was able to get the Windows 7 driver to install and work just fine.

      I was also able to do this on Windows 10, except for a problem where Microsoft would then later “update” the driver to its own driver. I was able to stop this before the first major 4 GB update, but unable to do so after that.

      Point is, I wonder if there really is a driver problem, or if Microsoft is just refusing to let a working driver for a previous Windows system work. That sure seemed to be the case with my Intel G41 chipset.

      Also, Intel needs to open source their old stuff for older hardware, if it really is a problem, so that people can work on trying to make drivers anyways. It worked really well on Linux, so why not do it here?

      • #127144 Reply

        ch100
        AskWoody_MVP

        It is likely related to the reliability of the GPU running in full under the newer specifications.
        This is the reason why Microsoft limits the functionality to only the basic functionality for the older GPUs.
        I am in the same situation on HD Graphics 3000 and while Intel does not release new compatible drivers, only the Microsoft mods work out of the box without any hacks like disabling driver signing.

    • #127163 Reply

      MrBrian
      AskWoody_MVP

      In thread intel does not support Windows 10 on atom z2760, there are late 2016 posts that indicate that Microsoft has tried to work around issues with Clover Trail processors in past versions of Windows 10.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by
         MrBrian.
    • #127180 Reply

      anonymous

      We can speculate on why this situation has come about, but we will never know what these titans (MS and Intel) discussed behind closed doors. What the h**l, let’s speculate…

      Intel made it publicly clear that they no longer wanted to participate in the low end hardware market but Microsoft was pushing the low-end hardware strategy on the OEMs since the cloud became their top priority. MS suddenly embraced AMD (a low-end, low cost chip provider and enemy of Intel) but Intel was unfazed by it. MS obviously gave Intel a heads-up and that gave them the cue to move on.

      So why did Intel introduce the Clover Trail chip for Windows? I speculate that AMD was not ready to meet their obligations to the OEMs at that time, so MS convinced Intel to develop a chipset for their cheapo tablets. Intel built the chips for W8. They were under no obligation to provide drivers beyond W8. Upgrading the Clover Trail tablets to W10 was Microsoft’s mistake. They own it.

      MS was expecting to sweep any user discontent with the issue under the proverbial rug. Oh, the bane of tech writers and bloggers. A salvo across the bow of the MS mother ship convinced them to make amends for knowingly screwing their customers. It has cost them big time.

      There are no drivers, Intel or MS that will keep these devices running under the strategy that is WaaS. There is a lot of older hardware that was upgraded to W10 (GWX) in 2015 that is on the same course – heading for the same iceberg.

      • #127209 Reply

        anonymous

        Reply;

        There is a lot of older hardware that was upgraded to W10 (GWX) in 2015 that is on the same course – heading for the same iceberg.

        Yes, in 2015, many Win 7/8.1 computer users thought they could upgrade to Win 10 for free and extend their EOL from 2020/2023 to 2025.
        … Now they likely risk being blocked by M$/Windows Update from upgrading to the next Version of Win 10 because of unsupported OEM devices in their 4 to 5 years old computers = their EOL may be “short-changed” from 2025 to early 2018 or late 2018 or early 2019 and so on.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #127225 Reply

          Cybertooth
          AskWoody Lounger

          It is said that “you get what you pay for,” but in this case it looks like those folks who took the “free” upgrade are getting even LESS than they paid for — they’re ending up worse off than before!

           

          • #127269 Reply

            David F
            AskWoody Plus

            There’s no such thing as “free”, certainly not where MS is concerned

            I think there is also a change in the business model at MS, you are no longer the customer you have become the product.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #127194 Reply

      MrBrian
      AskWoody_MVP

      A 2015 post from thread https://communities.intel.com/thread/78288 contains this image.

    • #127262 Reply

      John
      AskWoody Lounger

      It’s not surprising low end hardware has a early end of life. What is surprising is how poorly Microsoft and Intel handle it. They work so close together that it’s unlikely they did not know this was coming a while back. But yet this obsession with getting everyone on Windows 10 seem to overshadow what was best for these users with hardware that was quickly becoming obsolete. One has to ask why the CPU’s are completely void of any upgrade, instead of simply disabling the features they cannot support? The ideal of let’s build really cheap devices, but then leave users high and dry down the road is really chipping away at trust between Microsoft, Intel and users. Even Google supports a Chromebook a minimum of 5 years.

      • #127281 Reply

        anonymous

        @ jescott418

        The HP Envy X2 cost US$750 when it was first released in 2012 together with the newly-launched Win 8 as a touchscreen 2-in-1 tablet.(= lots of hype)

        Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 = US$630
        Dell Latitude 10 = US$500
        Samsung ATIV Tab 3 = US$700
        Asus VivoTab Smart = US$500

        About 1 year later, the OEMs came out with similar Win 8.1 touchscreen 2-in-1 tablets running on the newer Intel Atom Bay Trail processor at much lower prices, eg
        the 2013-released Asus Transformer Book T100 = US$350,
        the 2015-released Nextbook Flexx 10.1″ 2-in-1 tablet = US$150.

        https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/low-cost-pc-tablets-are-coming-heres-what-they-offer/

        So, it was quite unfair for such very expensive 1st-gen 2012-released Win 8 Intel Atom Clover Trail touchscreen 2-in-1 tablets to be not supported by the OEMs for the newer Win 10 OS even though they were qualified for the free Win 10 upgrade in 2015, while the much cheaper 2013-released Intel Atom Bay Trail Win 8.1 touchscreen tablets were supported by the OEMs for the Win 10 upgrade.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #127291 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody_MVP

      No matter whose fault this is, Microsoft could do something to fix this: they could allow a free downgrade to Windows 8.1 if you took the bait and upgraded to 10 on one of these devices.

      Doing something like that wouldn’t cost Microsoft much; but it would sure gain them a lot of goodwill.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #127366 Reply

      Bill C.
      AskWoody Plus

      Under law an automobile manufacturer has to ‘support’ a car via parts for X number of years and the aftermarket picks up the slack for the most common parts.

      Would you buy a vehicle with an unknown support life?

      1 user thanked author for this post.

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