AMD Ryzen AI CPUs Ditch Windows 10 for Windows 11

by Voinea Laurentiu

AMD's latest announcement confirms that its Ryzen AI processors will not support Windows 10. With neural processing units (NPUs) capable of reaching up to 50 trillion operations per second (TOPS), the Ryzen AI lineup is designed for future applications, making the move away from Windows 10 logical. This development aligns with ongoing trends and raises questions about the broader implications for AMD's Zen 5 processors and the overall market.

The Influence of Microsoft's Copilot+

Microsoft's Copilot+ has revolutionized the CPU market, setting a high bar for AI capabilities with a requirement of 40 TOPS. This shift has compelled AMD and Intel to develop new CPUs to meet these standards. Consequently, laptops featuring the AMD Ryzen AI 9 HX 370 and Ryzen AI 9 365 processors are exclusively compatible with Windows 11. According to AMD's product page, these chips only support Windows 11 64-bit and Ubuntu, underscoring their focus on advanced AI functionalities.

A Historic Move by AMD

This marks the first time AMD is discontinuing support for Windows 10, a move that mirrors Microsoft's plans to end Windows 10 support by the end of 2025. However, transitioning away from Windows 10 poses challenges due to the slow adoption rate of Windows 11. Despite efforts, Windows 11's market share has recently declined, indicating some users are reverting to Windows 10.

Market Dynamics and User Preferences

Current statistics highlight the dilemma for Microsoft: only 26% of users have adopted Windows 11, while Windows 10 remains dominant with around 70% of the market share. Ending support for Windows 10 doesn't mean immediate obsolescence for existing PCs, but it may pressure Microsoft to extend its support. Nonetheless, AMD is firmly moving forward without Windows 10 for its AI-focused processors.

Contextualizing the Ryzen AI 300 Series Decision

The exclusion of Windows 10 support for the Ryzen AI 300 series is less impactful than it might seem. These processors, designed with AI advancements like Copilot in mind, are unlikely to be found in entry-level laptops still running Windows 10. A more significant statement would be if AMD decided to drop Windows 10 support for its upcoming Ryzen 9000 CPUs. As it stands, desktop users can continue using Windows 10 with their current setups.

Future Outlook and Microsoft's Strategy

Despite aspirations from Microsoft, AMD, and other tech companies for a swift transition to Windows 11, user migration remains sluggish. Acknowledging this, Microsoft has announced that users can purchase additional security updates for up to three years post Windows 10 end-of-life, extending its usability through 2028. Given this extended support, it seems unlikely that AMD will abandon Windows 10 for desktops in the near future, but the situation remains fluid.

AMD's decision to phase out Windows 10 support for its Ryzen AI processors is a forward-looking move, aligning with industry trends and the company's focus on AI advancements. While this may not drastically affect current users, it signals a broader shift in the tech landscape. The transition to Windows 11 continues to face resistance, but extended support periods offer a buffer for users and companies alike. The true impact of these changes will unfold over the coming years.