It’s been about 5 years since Intel launched a line of Atom chips code-named “Clover Trail,” which were designed for tablets, convertibles, and netbooks. Intel ended support for those chips, a while back, and earlier this year some folks noticed that the Windows 10 Creators Update wouldn’t install on machines with Clover Trail chips.

Now that the Windows 10 Fall Update is on the way, ZDNet reports that users could lose access to security updates if there’s no fix in the coming 6 to 9 months.

The Verge reached out to Microsoft for clarification… and basically found out that the company has no plans to bring any future versions of Windows 10 to Clover Trail moving forward.

That means anyone who’s updated a Clover Trail table to Windows 10 is stuck with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which is the latest version that officially supports that chipset.

The good news is that while official support for most devices running the Anniversary Update would end in early 2018, Microsoft plans to continue offering security updates through January, 2023. So you’ll get the same support that you would have had if you’d stuck with Windows 8.1 (most Clover Trail devices shipped with Windows 8 or 8.1) instead of upgrading to Windows 10.

Honestly, there probably aren’t all that many people affected by Microsoft’s decision to end support for the Atom Z2760 and other Clover Trail chips. They weren’t particularly popular, powerful, or energy efficient when compared with ARM chips that came to dominate the Android tablet space or the Intel Atom Bay Trail chips that followed Clover Trail.

Eventually, Intel scrapped its entire line of Atom chips for consumer-oriented devices, although the current Apollo Lake Celeron and Pentium chips share quite a bit of DNA with their Atom-based predecessors.

Still, while it’s annoying to see Microsoft partially pull the plug on computers that may only be a few years old, I can’t imagine there are really all that many people still using devices with Clover Trail chips.

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15 replies on “PCs with Intel Clover Trail chips can’t run latest Windows 10 builds”

  1. RIP Clover Trail. I wonder how long until Microsoft decides that Bay Trail and Cherry Trail chips need to bite the dust as well?

    Personally, I don’t see much difference between the Bay Trail and Cherry Trail chips.

    1. As others have noted, Clover Trail was a weird beast, because it had PowerVR graphics and an Intel CPU bundled together. It’s allegedly been pretty tricky to support, which is why Microsoft is not allowing updates for PCs with Clover Trail chips, but the company *is* continuing to support devices with much older chips.

      Bay Trail and Cherry Trail should be safe for the foreseeable future.

  2. Here’s Microsoft’s challenge to their required update model. Apple can get away with it because their bill of materials on their devices is really locked down. What made Microsoft great was the ability to support lots of manufacturers chips, cards, and peripheral devices. They have to give that up if they want to go the way of the closed ecosystem. Thus forcing hardware manufacturers to meet their standards for connected devices instead of the other way around.

  3. Somewhat related to this article/topic but I hope Intel can bring down the power envelope of their Core architecture to become a viable competitor in the mobile/pocketable device space. Maybe they’re also continuing to try to integrate other functionalities into a single SoC as well just as with the dead Atom line (ie. various wireless connectivity features).

    It seems that with their Core M series, they may be on that path. Although Intel likes their high profit margins so I’m not sure how far they’ll try to get back into this space.

  4. The problem began for me with the original Win 10. I was led to believe that it was Intel that failed to update the drivers. I only blame Microsoft for not flagging it as incompatible. Going back to 8.1 was a pain and I have to remember not to let Windows Update install the newest 8.1 drivers lest my otherwise quite serviceable Lenovo tablet get into a loop where it shuts down during the startup process.

  5. Clover Trail chips were terrible (Intel CPU paired with PowerVR GPU), those PowerVR GPU’s under Windows had zero support from their makers ImgTech.

    MS should never have let them even upgrade to Win10 in the first place.

    Thats the reason for drop in support ImgTech has no intention of continuing it’s subpar driver support unless Intel pays money which it won’t.

    1. As a CPU, I’m pretty sure a T6400 will smoke a z3735f in every meaningful way for day to day use. It might lose a couple esoteric tests like aes encryption, but for getting things done, baytrail is no match.
      However, the integrated graphics from back then were terrible. Core2 really needs a decent graphics card to be usable today, but I’d take a T6400 powered laptop with a GeForce 8800M GTS over a baytrail atom every day of the week.

      1. Actually, IME if you aren’t doing video editing, AutoCAD or gaming the later Core 2 Duos aren’t bad. I am typing this on an HP business SFF computer with a C2D 3.16GHz processor and internal graphics and it surfs the web, allows for word processing and spreadsheet creation using Libre Office and encodes audio using Audacity (transferring music on cassette via the computer’s line input) reasonably quickly for home use — about four to five minutes at 128kbps MP3 for a 60 minute album (compared to my AMD E1-2100 1.0 GHz laptop which takes 10-11 minutes to encode a 60 minute album at 64kbps MP3 — half the bit rate I used to encode using my Core 2 Duo equipped computer). I can also play DVDs with most types of encoding except Blu-Ray discs (including CD-Rs using the early 2000’s hack for video on a CD-R) using VLC Media Player and the internal DVD drive.

  6. Lack of proper drivers for them integrated PowerVR graphics inside Clover Trail is really the problem. AFAIK only 32bit version exist, and even that one is a little buggy. Good riddance that Intel ditched PowerVR, since them buggy Windows drivers came from Imagination. The only thing left for PowerVR is that better support is under Linux and Android with less buggy drivers.

  7. How’s Linux support for Clover Trail chips nowadays? In addition to graphics support, how’s power management? Can I expect significantly lower battery life/higher power consumption under Linux than with Windows?

  8. Good Riddance, Clover Trail on Windows needs to die in a ditch, preferably on fire with a bunch of people around it refusing to even piss on it to put it out.

    Clover Trail works fine in Linux and freeBSD though, as long as you stay in the CLI.

    1. Agreed, they sucked bad.
      The only Atom chip that I actually like are the Cherry Trail Z8700/Z8750. It seems to run okay on the GPD Win handheld. But still, even they are a bit thirsty and hot, whilst on the modern 14nm lithography. And they offer performance only around the scale of ARM Cortex A17 / QSD 805.

      I don’t like any of the Celeron / Pentium processors which are basically Atom-cores clocked higher. And let’s not even talk about the Xeons servers with Atom cores, just humiliating. Intel needs to commit to the Core i-family wholeheartedly and stop jerking off the consumers endlessly.

      1. Well, I’m just glad to know you don’t speak for all consumers – as there’s a whole raft of us out here for which Celeron/Pentium CPUs provide entirely adequate performance for our more mundane computing needs in low-cost/low-power platforms.

        Yes, we know there are more powerful Core i3/i5/i7 CPUs available but if we don’t need that performance, why pay more? I recently purchased an Apollo Lake-based pseudo-ultrabook with a beautiful 12.3″ 2736×1824 matte display (same as in Surface Pro 4), 6GB RAM, and 64GB eMMC for $300 – perfect for my intended purposes. I’m not going to spend hundreds of dollars more for a Core i3/i5/i7 just to boot Windows a few seconds faster.

        Some of us spend our computing time just doing real-world office-oriented tasks rather than playing games, transcoding video, and/or running esoteric benchmarks so we can endlessly debate the pros/cons of the latest generation of CPUs on obscure tech websites. It’s no longer a one-size-fits-all computing world.

        1. Well that’s a crappy way of looking at it. You’re pretty worse off without me speaking for you…. because if I were I would NOT get rid of the PRICE CATEGORY of the Celerons and Pentiums.

          Like I said, go wholeheartedly to the Core-i family. That means lowest binned chips with the lowest specced Core i3 features are sold in the case of Celerons. Then the same low binned chips with Core i3 features clocked a little higher instead of Pentiums.

          Basically Intel can ditch the old microarchitecture and old lithography, at zero expense. Then streamline their products from the lowly Internet-of-Things all the way to powerful server systems.

          But they rather confuse the market and skim profits. And you seem dull enough to fall for it.

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