If it is true that the Zen platform will not be supporting Windows 7 as I have been hearing then that is extremely short sighted.
Even after a year and a half of the rubbish which is Windows 10 the numbers don't speak for it:
The percentage of users of the various Windows OS variants as of now:
1 Windows 7 52.32%
2 Windows 10 33.31
3 Windows 8/8.1 14.35%
Even giving it away the majority don't want it and many who have it only do so because it came installed on a new computer. Win10 is so bad that computer companies forced Microsoft to bundle in a "downgrade" to Win7. I have spent a lot of my time getting rid of Win10 on people's computers and replacing it with Win7.
So the number of 33.31% of Win10 users might actually be flattering, with the number of people who were forced to use Win10 reverting to Win7 but still being counted as Win10 users.
Are AMD seriously planning to kiss 50% of potential sales of their Zen platform goodbye?
AMD would have to artificially cripple Zen to purposely not work in conjunction with Windows 7 which would be a really bad move.
Personally I was looking forward to building a new system with a Zen APU to upgrade my 7870K system - Silent Grizwald If the Zen platform is crippled to exclude Windows 7 then that is one sale AMD is NOT going to make. I do not think I will be alone in this regard.
Windows 10 has had a year and a half to establish itself and even giving it away it has only found favour with a third of Windows users with many of those users simply having had Win10 forced on them because it came pre-installed on a new system.
It would be very short sighted indeed if AMD went out of its way to alienate over 50% of its target audience.
I think will not support Win7 and lower due to new instruction set, having to do with the SMP (Simultaneous Multi-threading Processor) instructions Zen is using.
I might be wrong, but I think Kaby Lake will have the same "limitation".
I doubt very much that it has anything to do with SMP. Every CPU from Dual-Core upwards is an SMP architecture.
It seems that both AMD with Zen and Intel with Kaby Lake have agreed to make their CPU's incompatible with Windows 7. Microsoft tried this stunt with Intel's Skylake but the protests about this forced Intel to back down.
I do not think it is a wise move on the part of AMD to give a one finger salute to over 50% of Windows users (that's just the Win7 users), especially considering that the sale of desktop PC's has been flattening off or even stagnating in recent years.
From what information I have been able to glean the incompatibility between Zen and Win 7 is completely artificial.
Personally I will not be forced onto an OS platform which in my experience has been glitchy, subject to crashes and also unpredictable. I build computers to run 24/7 for years and even on the Haswell and the AMD APU platforms I have not been able to get Windows 10 running for HOURS let alone days or weeks, without some kind of either crash or BSOD which I just do not experience with Win7. I put a link to my AMD computer above and there is absolutely NOTHING second rate or inherently unstable in that build.
My previous main rig had been running 24/7 for 1,790 days before I changed over to the Haswell platform.
I was very much looking forward to the new Zen APU's but as of this writing, if Win 7 is not supported then there is no chance of my buying it.
I found a quote from AMD chief technical officer Mark Papermaster which stated. “AMD’s processor roadmap is fully aligned with Microsoft’s software strategy”. What this says to me is that AMD is being dictated to by Microsoft, to try to force people onto Windows 10 which is widely seen as an abominable OS.
What this means is that AMD will be pandering to 33% of Windows users and telling the other 66% to get stuffed.
I do not see this boding well for AMD's launch of Zen or their sales.
This is the problem of closed source software products like MS Windows. If the owner/seller/vendor (MS) dont want to add support for new CPUs/technology on old OS releases you cant do anything about it, except vote with your wallet (money) and change to an opensource OS were support for new technology will be added.
Please send your complaint to Microsoft, Windows is their product. I see this all the time on healthcare software/hardware.