In a recently updated support article, Nvidia announced the forward-looking support plan for driver updates on systems running Windows 7, 8, and 8.1. Starting October 2021, all Game Ready Driver updates will be exclusive to systems using the Windows 10 operating system.
Some of the reasons for this decision were highlighted by Nvidia in the support article. These include the fact that Microsoft itself ended support for Windows 7 and 8 back in January 2020. According to Nvidia, “the vast majority of our GeForce customers have migrated to Windows 10 OS,” so it makes sense to optimize updates for just the one version of the operating system. There are over 1.5 billion active Windows users worldwide, with Windows 7 systems representing just 15% of this figure.
With one final update, Nvidia intends to improve the Windows user experience in terms of support, functionality, and security. The last Game Ready Driver that will support Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 will release on August 31 this year. This means all future updates after August 31 will only be available on Windows 10 systems, the first of which will release on October 4, 2021. While most users are currently using Windows 10 and won’t be affected by these changes, those running older versions may want to consider upgrading soon to get the latest drivers. This will allow them to benefit from new features, performance enhancements, and bug fixes. However, those who choose to stick with Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 will still receive critical security updates until September 2024.
Keeping your drivers up to date is usually highly recommended for the reasons aforementioned, however, there is always a small chance that updates could do more harm than good. Nonetheless, both Nvidia and Microsoft want to abandon older software, so it may be best to upgrade if you haven’t already. Nvidia dropping support for older Windows versions could also be a sign of what’s to come. More specifically, the release of the rumored Windows 11. Microsoft will be holding an event later this June to discuss what’s next for Windows and could make an official announcement then.