Why is AMD giving up on Windows 10?

AMD has confirmed that its new Ryzen AI processors will not support Windows 10, marking a significant shift in its hardware and software compatibility strategy. The Ryzen AI lineup, featuring a neural processing unit (NPU) capable of up to 50 trillion operations per second (TOPS), is designed to meet the demands of future computing needs, particularly those driven by artificial intelligence (AI). This decision aligns AMD with the latest advancements in AI and operating systems, specifically Windows 11 and Ubuntu, as highlighted on the AMD product page.


Key Points of the Transition

  1. Focus on Future Technologies:
    • The Ryzen AI processors are built to support advanced AI applications and Microsoft’s Copilot+ features, which require at least 40 TOPS.
    • These processors, including the Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 and Ryzen AI 9 365, are optimized for Windows 11 64-bit and Ubuntu, reflecting the focus on cutting-edge AI capabilities.
  2. Dropping Windows 10 Support:
    • AMD’s decision to exclude Windows 10 support for its AI processors aligns with Microsoft’s plan to end support for Windows 10 by 2025.
    • Despite this, Windows 10 remains popular, with approximately 70% of users still using it compared to 26% for Windows 11.
  3. Market Implications:
    • The slow adoption rate of Windows 11 suggests a reluctance among users to upgrade, potentially complicating Microsoft’s transition plans.
    • AMD’s move is not expected to impact entry-level laptops still running Windows 10, as the AI processors are aimed at more advanced applications.


Broader Impact and Future Considerations

  • Desktop CPUs and Windows 10:
    • Currently, AMD has not extended this decision to its upcoming Ryzen 9000 series desktop CPUs, allowing desktop users to continue using Windows 10.
    • This cautious approach reflects the widespread usage and continued demand for Windows 10 in desktop environments.
  • Extended Support for Windows 10:
    • Recognizing the slow transition to Windows 11, Microsoft plans to offer paid security updates for Windows 10 for up to three years beyond its official end-of-life, extending its usability to 2028.

AMD’s strategic decision to support only Windows 11 and Ubuntu for its Ryzen AI processors underscores a commitment to future technologies and AI-driven applications. While this move sets a clear direction for the future, it also reflects a recognition of the current market dynamics, ensuring that desktop users and those still reliant on Windows 10 are not left behind. As the industry continues to evolve, the balance between innovation and user adoption will remain a critical factor in shaping the landscape of computing technologies.