Upgrading your processor to use a new operating system? Sure, it can happen. But when's the last time you had to upgrade your OS to, er, use your OS, because of your processor? Yep, that's a new one, with Microsoft taking the first step towards discouraging the use of AMD and Intel's latest hardware on the company's older platforms of Windows 7 and 8.1.
Although reports are mixed as to whether the change is actually live, a new page on Microsoft's support site outlines what users will — eventually — see when they try to download updates on Windows 7 and 8.1, while using a recent processor:
Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows and you won’t receive updates.
The page goes on to say that Intel's 7th-gen and AMD's Bristol Ridge chips are affected (Kaby Lake and Ryzen respectively), along with the Qualcomm 8996, better known as the Snapdragon 820.
So, what's Microsoft's recommended resolution? Buy Windows 10, of course:
We recommend that you upgrade Windows 8.1-based and Window 7-based computers to Windows 10 if those computers have a processor that is from any of the following generations...
It's not outside the realms of possibility that someone will cook up a workaround, if you want to persist with a pre-Windows 10 platform. If you can't wait, it should be possible to use a program such as WSUS to grab updates manually.