Microsoft drops Windows 7 support on Pentium III CPUs

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read
windows 7 intel pentium 3 support

In 2020, we’ll can say goodbye to Windows 7, but some users might see that their old Intel processors are not supported anymore. It seems that Microsoft has dropped Windows 7 support on a few PCs that have Pentium III CPUs. And that’s because Pentium III cannot support the SSE2 technology, which enables single instruction multiple data. Other processors support this tech – Intel Pentium 4 and next generations – which is a feature mandatory for Windows OS.

The issue was first spotted and added in the list of known issues in the monthly security patch for Windows 7, since March:

A Stop error occurs on computers that don’t support Streaming Single Instructions Multiple Data (SIMD) Extensions 2 (SSE2).

Originally, Microsoft mentioned that an upcoming release would come with a resolution, but in the end, they updated the changelog, with the following recommendation:

Upgrade your machines with a processor that supports SSE2 or virtualize those machines.

Older Products Won’t Get Security Updates

In all honesty, let’s agree that 18 years old CPUs are too old to handle all the security patches for Meltdown or Spectre. So, Microsoft abandoned them, and leaving them without a security patch. Their action does not go against Microsoft’s support policies, and it’s written in a help article:

Microsoft advises customers to install the latest product releases, security updates, and service packs to remain as secure as possible. For the latest information on security updates, please visit our TechNet Library. Older products may not meet today’s more demanding security requirements. Microsoft may be unable to provide security updates for older products.

Considering Pentium III was released in 1999, the news could affect some people that use an old hardware. But whoever still runs a Pentium III in 2018 should immediately go and by a newer one, which is definitely more secure and a lot faster!

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