The writing was on the wall. Microsoft has started, what promises to be a very long process. That of no longer supporting 32-bit versions of its latest operating system.
And it begins today.
With Windows 10 version 2004, which is already available to hardware partners and developers.
Microsoft is no longer offering a 32-bit version of the operating system to OEMs for new PCs. The company has made official this change on the Minimum Hardware Requirements documentation, which basically means that hardware vendor can’t make new PCs with 32-bit processors.
To be clear, this change does not affect existing PCs.
The software titan makes it known that it is still committed to offering 32-bit builds in other channels. In other words, you can still buy a retail copy of Windows 10 and use it for these older processors.
But seeing as these 32-bit CPUs will not be supported by chip vendors anymore, and with Microsoft not allowing vendors to make new ones, they will just go away at some point. This development is simply the beginning of the long road towards the move away from these machines.
Not that you could find the silicon for it.
That said, there’s nothing to worry about if you own a 32-bit PC. There likely won’t be any issues going forward, unless we have a surprise change in Microsoft policy. These devices will go out on their regular support timelines — there’s no hurry to see their demise.
This is only Microsoft taking the necessary step to keep up with times.
Last year, the software titan pulled a similar move. It increased the minimum amount of storage that a Windows 10 PC can have from 16GB on 32-bit devices and 20GB on 64-bit ones, to 32GB across the board. That doubling of storage requirement seems like it was a subtle step towards what we have now.
The end is near!