Current Blizzard Games Will Stop Working on Older Windows Versions in October

Current Blizzard Games Will Stop Working on Older Windows Versions in October

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If you're playing any of Blizzard's current games on Windows XP or Vista, you'll need to upgrade your OS soon.

It's been eight years since Microsoft offered support for Windows XP, and five years since it ceased support for Windows Vista. Despite that, many gamers continue to run those operating systems. But if you're playing a current Blizzard game on one of those OSes, you might want to prepare to upgrade.

Blizzard announced yesterday that its current titles, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, will end support for XP and Vista this October. The announcement reads,

"Microsoft ceased mainstream support for these versions of Windows in 2009 and 2012, respectively, but since a decent portion of our audience was still using them at the time, we continued supporting them. However, there have been three major Windows releases since Vista, and at this point, the vast majority of our audience has upgraded to one of the newer versions."

If you're on one of those operating systems, you won't just cease getting support, the games won't run at all. Blizzard says, "The games will not run on these older operating systems once they are no longer supported, so we encourage any players who are still using one of the older OSes to upgrade to a newer version. We'll be rolling out this change on a staggered schedule, and will post further notices as we get closer to making the change for each game."

This announcement isn't a huge surprise, as Blizzard made the announcement back in February that this move would be coming sometime this year. There's no mention of whether this will affect the new StarCraft Remaster, but I wouldn't bet against it.

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Generally speaking there's 3 types of dropping support:

1) You say you don't support it because you don't want the hassle but the game may still technically work

2) You want to implement a new feature that isn't compatible with the old software so the game will not work by necessity

3) You code in a mechanism to stop it from working just to be annoying.

Let's hope this is a 1) or 2) situation.

wizzy555:
Generally speaking there's 3 types of dropping support:

1) You say you don't support it because you don't want the hassle but the game may still technically work

2) You want to implement a new feature that isn't compatible with the old software so the game will not work by necessity

3) You code in a mechanism to stop it from working just to be annoying.

Let's hope this is a 1) or 2) situation.

4. Microsoft "gently pressures" you to drop support for older OSs to force people to upgrade.

Isn't this, like, the second or third time this has been announced?

And honestly, Vista is over a decade old at this point. Microsoft has already dropped support for 7. I get wanting to stick with something that isn't broken, but there are better OSes than Windows XP at this point and there were always better ones than Vista.

Windows XP is still the best windows and I've used all of them except 7 and 10.
The decline really started with Vista. I've not used 7 but heard people say it was like a crossbreed between XP and Vista.
Then came 8...and 10 is here to stay forever from what I've read?? (Though I find that hard to believe.)

Vendor-Lazarus:
Windows XP is still the best windows and I've used all of them except 7 and 10.
The decline really started with Vista. I've not used 7 but heard people say it was like a crossbreed between XP and Vista.
Then came 8...and 10 is here to stay forever from what I've read?? (Though I find that hard to believe.)

well you havent used the good ones. 7 was better than XP in every aspect and 10 needs a little adjusting and then its even better than 7

Attaboy, Blizzard. Ideally this encourages stragglers to get with the times.

Operating Systems that are long out of support pose security hazards. And like vaccines, people who are not up to date pose a risk to the populace in general. :D

Scytail:
4. Microsoft "gently pressures" you to drop support for older OSs to force people to upgrade.

For what it's worth, Microsoft is gentler than Apple. MS historically was more of a "You know, it sure would be nice if you might possibly upgrade. Please?" but they're getting better at enforcing security updates and keeping them automated and out-of-sight out-of-mind with Windows 10.

So that was one practice Apple already had down that I'm glad MS picked up. When I fixed up and upgrade Macs in a shop years ago, I felt the mentality coming out of Apple was a more forceful "we're doing this and you'll go along with it," and customers accepted it. Windows users can learn as well.

whats so out-of-sight out-of-mind about your OS forcing you to reboot because it tells you that you have 10 mins to finish your work and save befor it restarts to install all those updates they insist on installing?

you know, like those ones that stop all your older games even running the disk? (i have friends that wanted to play sims1, but the disk wont even run on windows10, and there is no digital download for it)

now, i dont mind folks having 10, and for someone thats getting a brand new system, or their old one is dying and they decide to start over (with10) but more than half the systems i have fixed with 10 were needing to be fixed *because* of windows10
failed updates.
reboot locks
that agrivating 'something went wrong *sadface* BSoD they thought was a good idea (it wasnt. just give the info, dont add the damn smileyface, it may work with standard users but some of us fixers get sick of seeing that damn sideways sadface)

i had rollbacks (half of which wouldnt work to return their ninja'd OS back to windows7 or 8) and crashes and the fact you cant get into safemode in 10 and 8 without the disks (and sometimes even WITH the disks lol) along with the somewhat unfriendly to independant setup of the system leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

so now my worry is, how long befor they force everyone off windows7 (my current) and windows8?
(dont mind if they make world of warcraft2 a windows10 exclusive, so long as they leave wow1 windows7 and go free :P tho)

Silverbane7:
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Regarding "unexpected reboots," there are settings to help with that.
Hopefully this helps you and others out in the future: If you go to Settings > Update & Security > Change Active Hours

"Set active hours to let us know when you typically use this device. We won?t automatically restart it during active hours, and we won?t restart without checking if you?re using it."

There are some other settings available under Updates, such as being able to pause updates for up to 7 days, in case of whatever reason might make it unreasonable to restart right now.

I was going to provide screenshots to help but I don't see an option for attachments here.

Just like server admins need to apply security updates consistently (rather than leave a single system running for five years without a restart), regular folk can all find someplace in their day-to-day schedule where the computer can reboot.

Regarding decades-old games, if Compatibility Mode isn't an option to help it work, then depending on skill-level I'd look at using the older OSes on a PC removed from a network, or create a VM (Hyper-V is in Win10 Pro and free, as one option) and install Win XP/7/8 to play it on, having no network activity other than updating the game. Legacy apps will always face such troubles, whether one tries to run a Windows 3.1 program in the age of XP, or a Macintosh 9 app in OS 10.11 (legacy PowerPC app support was removed around 10.6).

Maybe these options aren't things you like or still don't see reasonable, and that's fair, I can't expect to change minds based on negative experiences from one forum post. I hope to have revealed options to expand your possibilities in dealing with frustrations you've run into. Thanks for reading either way.

P.S. If interested, very end of life support from Microsoft for Windows OSes are currently scheduled as follows:

Client operating systems --End of extended support
Windows Vista --April 11, 2017
Windows 7 * --January 14, 2020
Windows 8 --January 10, 2023
Windows 10 ** --October 14, 2025

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

Vendor-Lazarus:
Windows XP is still the best windows and I've used all of them except 7 and 10.
The decline really started with Vista. I've not used 7 but heard people say it was like a crossbreed between XP and Vista.
Then came 8...and 10 is here to stay forever from what I've read?? (Though I find that hard to believe.)

I'm using 7 right now and it's pretty good and worth getting, won't be upgrading to 10 until i'm forced to do so.

Well, guess I'm not buying anything else from Blizzard then, seeing as I'm sticking with 7 until something comes along that actually makes it worth moving for.

@Nazriel, thanks for the sugestions. will probably add those to some of the laptops once i get back to work.

the main problem is, by the time the poor things get to me, they are allready up the wazoo.
if they are not circling the drain of the great reboot to restart to reboot, they have the police virus or the BSoD of Smileyface allready.
though it is often the case i can try to save them, rescue their data via an external HDD caddy...unfortunately windows10 seems to hate me (though i can under stand that, its mutual distrust lol)

we sell laptops at the place i work at (when i am not off sick) and usualy they are bought by ether a mom n pop (for their kid) or by silver surfers.
when they get to us, they are ready to boot up for the first time, so i set them to the basics. i deny some things that i feel are likely to cause problems later (especialy drivers auto installing in cases where i know the user is not a gamer) and some that might be sort of unsafe (though its been over a year since i started up a win10 lappy, so i forget which ones)
then i set up the account with owner and make sure all the settings are correct (when we had win7 i used to wait for the driver packages ect to install) then pop a free antivirus and make sure thats up to date for them
(i got sick of them comming back within a week of going out because of virus and malware. allways the damn malware lol)

if the customer bought a paid AV (we sell a couple, and sometimes they have a preference for ones we dont sell) i install that, if not, i tell them the free one is so that if they have a paid service that they need to download, they can grab it safely, turn off their net and just install their paid one after getting rid of the free one (usualy if they have a paid service one, they know enough to do what i just told them lol)

i much prefer prevention in the early stages, to repair and scavange in the later stages.

as for older systems, im a hoarder. i have a few machines with windowsXP i keep offline, one just for sims games and one for old cd/dvd games from the 98-xp days that no longer even run on the windows7.
whenever i have people that dont want to keep their old systems, but moan they want their old games, i point them towards GoG, explain that they have them sorted and fixed up for use on windows7 and up, and sugest they check for their game there.
i also have an old armada 300 that has XP on but i can return to win98, asuming i can make a driver disk for it. so tempted to put my whole sims1 on it to play in bed lol

Hey, this just in! Blizzard loses business from people who don't like current the current OS!

 

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