Machines with the Intel Clover Trail processors were sold from 2012 to 2015, typically with Windows 8.0 or 8.1 installed.
In January 2015, Windows boss Terry Myerson said “This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no additional charge.”
We have found thousands of forum posts already with questions by users over what to do.
Under the 5 years of mainstream support followed by 5 years of extended support system, a Clover Trail owner who stayed with Windows 8.1 would expect to receive feature updates through 2018 and security updates through 2023.
When Microsoft dumped Windows 10 onto these machines for the most part they were stable. Then along comes Windows 10 version 1703 and Clover Trail users discovered it was not being delivered to them. Microsoft stated that the CPU was not compatible with Windows 10.
- Atom Z2760
- Atom Z2520
- Atom Z2560
- Atom Z2580
This means that in addition to Sandy Bridge, now Clover Trail has been tossed under a bus. We know that the compiler being used by Microsoft is not at fault as they typically use AMD64 and SSE2 to have the broadest compatibility possible. We use the same settings with Visual Studio when we design applications for the same compatibility reasons.
This means it falls on Intel squarely who has not provided Microsoft with support for the processors. It seems that Intel is abandoning processors far faster than the real service life of a machine let alone the updates provided by Microsoft.
So Clover Trail is now stuck with Windows 10 version 1607. Microsoft has indicated they will continue to support the platform with 1607 with only security updates through 2023. There will be no new feature updates which is consistent for the original extended support matrix for Windows 8.
Intel used PowerVR Series 5XT GPU and drivers for Clover Trail and Clover Trail+, and apparently either Intel or Imagination Technologies (or both) aren’t planning to update them any time soon.
We should point out that our old Lenovo T500 with Radeon HD 3650 graphics works with Windows 10 using a legacy driver fine. We suspect that the PowerVR Series 5XT GPU may not support more than WDDM 1.2 which is seen with Windows 8 but this is above the system requirements for Windows 10.
The bottom line: If your PC was originally designed for Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 and the manufacturer doesn’t officially support it for Windows 10, you’re at risk.
New machines with Windows 10 preinstalled are more likely to be compatible with future semi-annual releases.