Arm-Powered PCs Shipping with Unsupported Windows Version

The Samsung Galaxy Book 2.

The least exciting part of buying a new laptop is dealing with all the software updates. Manufacturers have to install something on 'em before sending them off to retailers, but usually by the time those systems reach consumers they're due for some touch-ups. Microsoft accidentally exacerbated that problem for people buying Windows 10 with Arm devices, though, by delaying the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

We've already covered the challenges surrounding the Windows 10 October 2018 Update: it rolled out with problems regarding Intel audio drivers, along with a file system bug that could lead to the accidental deletion of documents; was restricted to members of the Windows Insider Program; and then had to contend with another file bug, this one related to dragging files out of a compressed folder to an uncompressed one.

All of these issues led the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, or Windows 1809, to miss its launch window. It still has yet to be re-released to the public. Yet as Petri noted, this is the only version of Windows 10 on which new "always-connected" laptops with Arm processors are supposed to run. That forced manufacturers to make a choice--they could either delay their product launch or ship with an unsupported version of Windows.

That isn't an easy decision for companies that bought into Microsoft's promises that Windows laptops aren't effectively restricted to Intel CPUs. It's made even harder by the fact that it's the holiday season. Manufacturers, retailers, and consumers alike will gorge themselves in an economic feast that makes Thanksgiving dinner seem like a reasonable Thursday meal.

We've had our misgivings about the potential of Windows 10 laptops running on Qualcomm processors since the "always-connected" effort debuted. The first laptops featuring the Snapdragon 850 chip didn't exactly inspire confidence, either, and now it turns out they're being sold with a version of Windows 10 that was never supposed to support them. That makes their promises and prices even harder to swallow.

Microsoft hasn't yet announced when the Windows 10 October 2018 Update will be released; hopefully the company doesn't miss both the namesake month and year. (Though it's probably busy with other problems affecting Windows 10 users.) No matter what, people are going to want to check for updates immediately after unwrapping their new always-connected laptop, and that's sure to muffle the holiday cheer.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • Svetoslav Enkov
    I think 1809 is supported. I've installed it normally (not Insider) on October 4-th (before MS stop to release) and it is supported, now it is on a build 17763.55 (from October 9-th).
  • hannibal
    I think so too. You just don't see it in normal update, but if you allready have it, it has normal support. I installed before the MS pulled it back and still have it installed. But even better would be if they can iron out that bug that affected some users, because losing files would be really bad!
  • bit_user
    I don't even care what they ship with. I would simply "Update" them to Linux.
  • ThisIsMe
    The only issue they'd face, being that they're new computers with no Intel audio after all, is the possibility of user error by accidentally overwriting a file by dragging it from a zipped folder because of a lack of a warning prompt. Not exactly something to get worked up over.
  • techmakeitgo
    hi all micro micro microsoft,,,..needs to SLOW DOWN AND PRODUCE A CONSISTENT, RELIABLE PRODUCT. THEY ARE NAILING THEMSELVES INTO OBLIVION..........not a productive op system, like win 7 is . learning, learning learning, and never coming to the truth.......never install a .1 version of anything. from an old pc tech....KUDOS TO LINUX..........go cinnamon go.....