For those who are using lower Windows versions (Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1), driver support from global tech manufacturer Nvidia is ending in October. After that, it will be exclusively available for Windows 10. Users of older Windows versions will get critical security updates only through September 2024.
This comes as no surprise, especially considering how Microsoft has also begun ending its support for Windows 7 and Windows 8 operating systems. Even extended support for Windows 8.1 will be over by January 2023. Nvidia has said that it is doing this to focus on its products’ quality control. In a support note, Nvidia wrote: “The vast majority of our GeForce customers have migrated to Windows 10 OS. In order to ensure GeForce owners experience the best possible security, support, and functionality, Nvidia will now focus on the Windows 10 operating system.” (Read: Microsoft finally kills off Internet Explorer after 25 years)
While a lot of GeForce customers may already be using the Windows 10 OS, there are still many Windows 7 users across the globe. According to Statcounter, at least 15% of Windows users are still on Windows 7. The loss of Nvidia driver support for Windows 7 may have a major impact on the user experience of many gamers. However, roughly 93% of Steam users are on Windows 10, with only 2% of users still on Windows 7.
This may be Microsoft’s way of urging its user base to upgrade operating systems and devices. The tech giant is expected to launch yet another version of Windows later this year in October, and it is highly likely that this will be the Windows 11 OS.
Nvidia will also end support for Kepler GPUs. This is largely due to the GPU family’s age, which is a little over nine years old, as well as its user base. Only a few users around the world are still using Kepler GPUs. In fact, these users only account for about 1% of the total market. With such a low number, it would be inefficient for Nvidia to keep them on board. However, just like for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1, Kepler GPU users will still get “critical security updates” until September 2024.
Now, while Nvidia says that these changes are for the benefit of its users, this may be a little painful on the pockets—especially when you consider how the prices of GPUs have quadrupled over the years. Price will definitely be a major consideration for a vast majority of consumers, and some may just choose to stick with their old drivers for economical purposes. After all, the old drivers will still work without Nvidia’s support.
The last Nvidia driver that will be compatible with the old Windows version will come out on August 31. Nvidia’s October 4 release will only cater to Windows 10 operating systems.
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