There’s bad news for many people with Windows devices released a few years ago: they won’t be able to install the version of Windows 10 introduced this spring.
From around 2013 to 2015, “Clover Trail” Atom processors were among the best options to run Windows 8 and 8.1 on a tablet, as they required less power than this company’s chips for notebooks and PCs. They had slow performance, though, and Intel eventually replaced them with “Bay Trail” and later “Cherry Trail” processors.
There are plenty of Clover Trail tablets and 2-in-1s still in use, though, but unfortunately these can’t make the move to Windows 10 Creators Update. This isn’t Microsoft’s fault, but Intel’s. The chip maker has stopped supporting its Atom Z2760, Atom Z2520, Atom Z2560, and Atom Z2580 processors, so it won’t develop the software drivers needed by computers to run the newest version of Windows.
But users of devices based on these four Clover Trail chips won’t be left completely out in the cold: Microsoft has committed to releasing security patches for tablets using these processors until 2023, as long as they run Windows 10 Anniversary Update (the last version available for them).
Intel Has Moved On
Last year, Intel dropped the Atom line, as its processors designed for notebooks had become energy efficient enough for tablets and 2-in-1s too. The Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) uses chips from Intel’s “Kaby Lake” family, for example, and can last 6 to 8 hours on a single charge.
Still, that’s little consolation to people using Intel chips that have been left behind.