A number of PCs have unexpectedly been blocked from receiving future updates.

Unless Microsoft addresses the incompatibility issue, the computers will be obsolete in early 2018.

That would be hugely disappointing for users, who would be forced to purchase new devices.

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The issue affects computers built around Intel’s Atom Clover Trail processors, reports . 

The chips feature in entry-level PCs that came out in 2012 or later. 

These computers shipped with Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, and Microsoft made Windows 10 available to them as a free update.

Windows 10 is both newer and much easier to use than Windows 8 and 8.1, so upgrading would have been a no-brainer.

Unfortunately, these computers have now been found to be unable to install the Windows 10 Creators Update. 

Trying to do so brings up the message: “Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC”.

That means they’re stuck on version 1607 of the operating system. Since each Windows 10 update only receives security updates for 18 months, the 1607 build – which was released publicly in August 2016 – will lose Microsoft’s support next year. 

People will still be able to use their machines, but without regular security patches, they’ll become increasingly vulnerable to potentially dangerous bugs and security holes as time goes on. 

To make matters worse, if the owners of these machines had opted to stick with Windows 8 or 8.1 instead of upgrading to Windows 10, they’d continue to receive support through to 1 October 2023, according to .

Acer the Atom Z2760, Atom Z2520, Atom Z2560 and Atom Z2580 are not compatible with the Windows 10 Creators Update.

However, it has provided some hope to users by adding, “Microsoft is working with us to help provide compatible drivers to address this incompatibility.”