As first reported by ZDNet, some owners of Windows laptop / tablet devices – also known as 2-in-1s – are seeing a confusing error message. This can appear when Windows 10 attempts to install the Creators Update, the most recent major upgrade to the operating system.
Although Windows will download the installation files for the update, it will refuse to install it and display a message saying:
"Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC. Uninstall this app now because it isn't compatible with Windows 10."
Windows 10 was offered as a free upgrade for a lot of 2-in-1s which originally came with Windows 8 around 2012-2014. And since the nagging to upgrade was incessant, plenty of people upgraded.
Which processors are affected?
A post on Microsoft's answers site back in April shows a warned that devices with Clover Trail processors weren’t compatible with the Creators Update and that, “Due to driver issues, icons and text may not appear at all, or may appear as solid color blocks on devices containing these processors.”
Clover Trail is the codename for certain Intel Atom processors. Specifically, the Z2760, Z2520, Z2560 and Z2580 are unsupported. These are low-power chips that were also used for Android phones and tablets, such as the Asus ZenFone 4.
At the time, Microsoft was said to be working with Acer, HP and other manufacturers to release compatible drivers.
However, Microsoft has now confirmed that that won't happen. Instead, these devices will be stuck on the Anniversary Update version of Windows 10.
Don't be too quick to blame Microsoft, though. As a spokesperson explained, "Recognising that a combination of hardware, driver and firmware support is required to have a good Windows 10 experience, we updated our support lifecycle policy to align with the hardware support period for a given device.
"If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update."
"This is the case with devices utilising Intel Clover Trail Atom Processors today: they require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience when updating to the latest Windows 10 feature update, the Windows 10 Creators Update. However, these systems are no longer supported by Intel (End of Interactive Support), and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact."
"We know issues like this exist and we actively work to identify the best support path for older hardware. As part of our commitment to customers, we will be offering the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to these Intel Clover Trail devices on Windows 10, which we know provides a good user experience."
Intel dropped its Atom range of processors back in 2016.
How can I install the Creators Update then?
You can't. But if you're worried, then know that you don’t need to do anything. Your current version of Windows 10 will continue to receive security updates until January 2023 which is when Windows 8.1 support ends
So you should be protected from malware that exploits security holes in previous versions of Windows. However, do make sure you’re also running one of the best antivirus packages as well.
Second, there is no ‘app’ to uninstall. This part of the error message appears to refer to the Creators Update itself, which hasn’t been installed. It’s especially confusing because, logically, Windows 10 cannot be incompatible with itself.
On Microsoft’s website, there are no official ‘end of support’ dates for any version of Windows 10 apart from the original (version 1507).
Support ended on 9 May 2017 for that, but since Windows 10 has received two major updates since that – and is set to install them automatically - very few people will be running that version. We expect the page will be updated to make it clear when support ends for devices (as opposed to software) which are no longer supported.