Microsoft is taking another step to modify its cut-off support date for Intel Skylake-based devices.
Instead of halting support for Skylake-based Windows 7 and 8.1 in July 2018 -- which was earlier than the normal support cut-off date for Windows 7 and 8.1 on non-Skylake devices -- Microsoft is now going to support fully Skylake-based devices up until the end of the previously stated support cut-off dates.
For Windows 7, extended support ends on January 14, 2020. For Windows 8.1, extended support ends on January 10, 2023. (Extended support means the period during which users will get regular security updates from Microsoft for free.)
In January of this year, Microsoft officials announced they would cut off extended support for Windows 7 and 8.1 on Skylake on July 2017. In March, Microsoft modified the extended support cut-off date to July 2018, noting that all "critical" updates would be supported through 2020 (for Windows 7) and 2023 (for 8.1).
As of today, Microsoft broadened further the category of updates that Windows 7 and 8.X users get (no longer "critical" only). Today's latest change to the Skylake support cut-off dates also applies to Windows Embedded 7, 8 and 8.1 devices.
As of this latest change, supported devices running Skylake -- here's the list of PCs that qualify, along with embedded devices -- will get all applicable security updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 until the end of support dates for each product.
What we don't really know is why Microsoft made this latest change. Did Intel "fix" Skylake? Did customers, especially those wanting to downgrade to Windows 7, complain a lot? The official word is: "This change is designed to help our customers purchase modern hardware with confidence, while continuing to manage their migrations to Windows 10."
Today's support cut-off changes do not affect devices that will use Intel's upcoming 7th generation Intel Core (Kabylake) and AMD's upcoming Bristol Ridge processors. Those devices, as previously announced, will require the latest release of Windows 10.