All good things must come to an end. In turn, all outdated software meets its maker in the grand scheme of things. The terminus we're talking about today is the final driver release for the IGPs inside Intel's Haswell Core, Pentium, and Celeron processors running Windows 7 and 8.1. The driver series is going out on a bit of a high note with respect to HTPC scenarios, at least: "advanced users" can now use third-party tools to modify Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) and create custom display timings and modes—an ability that'll come in handy when using a television with poor EDID support as a display.
The 15.36 driver release notes also list a handful of squashed bugs, along with a few known issues that will apparently never be resolved for Windows 7 and 8.1. The unresolved problems include a handful of minor glitches with a few games and a screen corruption problem in Outlook 2013's reports. If you ran into those bugs with your Haswell CPU, make your peace now.
Even if Intel is writing off Haswell IGP support for Windows 7 and 8.1 today, we're far from the end of the line for general support for those operating systems. According to Microsoft, Windows 7 will continue to receive security-related updates until January 2020, and Windows 8.1 will have extended support until January 2023. In any case, the new drivers are available now in 32- and 64-bit flavors for Windows 7 and 8.1. Users running these versions of Windows versions can head to Intel's download site to grab the drivers.
The storm clouds are already forming in anticipation of Windows 7's end-of-support date of January 2020, as they did for the April 2014 end of Windows XP support. Even with the total cessation of updates, just over nine percent of PCs still run that ancient and unsupported OS. As for the next shoe to drop from Intel's side, the company has already announced that July 2017 will mark the end of all Windows 7 and 8.1 patches on Skylake-based systems, and that Kaby Lake and future architectures will only be supported in Windows 10.
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