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  • I wonder what Intel got in the deal

    Posted on Ascaris Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Outside the box Rants I wonder what Intel got in the deal

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    This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  PKCano 3 months, 1 week ago.

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    • #198323 Reply

      Ascaris
      AskWoody MVP

      …the deal I am assuming they made with Microsoft to only release Windows 10 drivers.

      I  suspected there was some kind of tomfoolery afoot when MS announced that Intel and AMD had both said they would only “support” Windows 10 on their new CPUs (and Linux, but this is about Windows).  I know why MS would want that, but AMD and Intel just want to sell CPUs and related chips for the motherboards the CPUs go into.  What’s in it for them to agree to play Microsoft’s game?

      AMD didn’t follow through on their vow with Ryzen.  There were drivers for the chipset for 7 (not sure about 8.1) on the AMD site right after Ryzen was launched.  Way to go, AMD!

      I didn’t know at the time how extensive the Windows 7/8.1 blacklisting would go.  When I had that gaming laptop a few weeks ago, I had to edit the .inf file in the Intel graphics driver to make it install in 8.1.  Once I did, it worked fine, even with the complexity of the Nvidia Optimus (which uses both GPUs at once when in gaming mode), thus demonstrating that there was no technical reason not to.  Admitted, Windows 8.1 users are relatively few and far between, but if it only takes a few lines of editing to an .inf file, why not do it and expand the base of users beyond those who will accept 10?  For all I know, it may also have worked with 7, and that certainly would broaden the appeal of PCs bearing their CPUs.  So why did Intel just say no to this entire subclass of Windows users when MS appears to be the sole beneficiary of such a policy?

      It goes deeper still.  While the “chipset driver” I got from Intel did work in 8.1 on an Apollo Lake laptop I was setting up, there were still about ten entries in the device manager that didn’t have drivers.  After a bunch of searching, I saw that Intel had chosen not to release any drivers for any of the components other than Windows 10 (and maybe Linux).  I did the editing the INF trick to get the existing drivers to install, and they did– but every one of them failed to start because of an unknown problem.

      That rules out using the touchpad in its native “precision” mode, which requires the I2C drivers to be installed before Windows will even see that the touchpad exists while in precision mode.

      There were a bunch of other Intel devices that didn’t have drivers either.  On the Kaby Lake gaming PC, I had found drivers for everything in the device manager, but the Synaptics touchpad didn’t work with the Synaptics Windows 8.1 driver I got from Lenovo. Dell, the OEM of the laptop I had, doesn’t even offer a driver for that model on their site, and the generic Synaptics one just told me “you do not need to install this driver” and quit.  Well, I suppose I didn’t, if I was happy to keep using the generic PS/2 mouse driver Windows 8.1 had assigned, which allowed exactly zero customization of the default settings.

      I’ve been installing different versions of Windows than PCs came with for decades, and I have never found such a dearth of drivers for anything other than the “most recent version of Windows,” as Microsoft strangely refers to it in all of the updates meant to assist with the upgrade.  None of these OEMs has anything to gain by offering drivers for only one version of Windows… so why, all of a sudden, is so much of the computer industry content only to offer Win 10 drivers?

      I smell a rat.

      In the case of my former gaming laptop… well, Dell lost the sale by not having a Windows 8.1 driver for the touchpad.  Synaptics lost out too.  I can’t be the only one, so I hope it was worth it for these OEMs to join Microsoft in sticking it to their own customers. I will probably be buying a Clevo gaming laptop in the hopes that it’s better than the Dell was in terms of compatibility with Windows versions I would actually use, and I hope it goes better.  Linux compatibility is a must, as that is my post-Windows future, but for now, at least the gaming one should also be able to run Windows (not 10).  Non-gaming ones don’t need to run Windows… it’s a matter of curiosity as to whether I can get it working, mainly.  It’s almost a certainty that I would not, at this stage, pay for another Windows license on principle alone, even though buying them now doesn’t benefit Microsoft a bit (every license they ever will sell for 8.1 has already been sold).

      • This topic was modified 3 months, 1 week ago by  Ascaris.
      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #198356 Reply

      anonymous

      I agree with the stench of vermin.  I’m wondering if this is all part of some “secure computing platform” initiative that is being promulgated by some government entity? It’s a mystery to me as well. Intel et al must be getting something out of it.

    • #198523 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody MVP

      So what about if you install Windows 7 or 8.1 in a VM? What is the 7/8.1 driver situation in that case?

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      • #198538 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody MVP

        I did put a Windows 7 VM (guest) on the Apollo Lake laptop mentioned above, the one that would not work correctly with Windows 8.1 due to a lack of drivers (and 7 would be in the same boat).  It was a bit slow, as the Apollo Lake is a very low power SoC that sacrifices speed for battery life, but everything worked, and it was quick enough to actually use for non-demanding tasks.

        The VM and the host OS handle hardware abstraction on most of the devices and components you’d see in Device Manager unless you set it up to pass them through directly to the guest, which would simulate plugging those devices directly into the VM.  In that case, a working driver for the version of Windows in the VM will be required.  Otherwise, those various bits of the hardware that don’t have Windows 8.1/7 drivers don’t even exist to the VM; it sees only virtualized hardware that works with a broad variety of operating systems by design.

        I hope that made sense!

        • #198542 Reply

          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody MVP

          Makes perfect sense. In other words, if you run 7 or 8.1 in a VM, you don’t run into the driver issue, because hardware abstraction handles the video, etc.

          So you could run Windows 7 or 8.1 on any machine, new or old, if you run it in a VM.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        • #198544 Reply

          PKCano
          AskWoody MVP

          I am running Win8.1 in a Parallels VM on a Mac with a 3.6GHz Kaby Lake i7-7700. I have had no updating restrictions. Parallels simulates whatever hardware drivers are acceptable for Kaby Lake. After the initial install of Win8.1 (of any of my VMs) Parallels Tools reinstalls all the drivers as a go-between the MacOS and Windows..

          • #198578 Reply

            Ascaris
            AskWoody MVP

            Does Windows running in Parallels report a different CPU?

            Virtualbox virtualizes a lot of the items in the Task Manager, but the CPU is still reported as what it actually is, which in this case (on my desktop) is a i5-2500k Sandy Bridge.  It seems that if it reports the actual CPU, then the MS update checker would still do its nasty thing, unless it’s not actually the CPU itself that it is detecting, but some other ancillary thing that comes with the CPU.  My guess would be that it does detect the CPU itself, but my Sandy is too old by far to be able to trigger any kind of reaction, and the Apollo Lake laptop is sadly indisposed at the moment.  I don’t have anything new enough to test it!

    • #198583 Reply

      PKCano
      AskWoody MVP

      @ascaris
      Shot of Parallels settings on Mac. I gave it 2 of the 8 cores, 4GB RAM.
      Shot of Speccy on Win8.1

      Parallels-settings

      Speccy-info

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      1 user thanked author for this post.

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