Yesterday saw the release of the AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.2.1 WHQL drivers. I did not publish a post about it as the only new thing about the release is the WHQL label, other than this the changelog was exactly the same as the 17.2.1 release from a week before.
Now TechPowerUp reports that with last week's Crimson ReLive 17.2.1 release, AMD ended support for the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1. The idea behind this is that AMD is cutting costs in its driver division by ceasing support for operating systems and architectures that only a few people use.
First the company dumped Windows XP and Windows 8 support, and now AMD decided to give the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 the same treatment. AMD says the download numbers of the Windows 8.1 32-bit drivers for Radeon video cards were extremely low so it did not make sense to dedicate resources to this that could be used more efficiently:
AMD attributes the demise of its 32-bit Windows 8.1 support to the success of the Windows 10 free upgrade program, which relegated 32-bit Windows 8.1 to an extremely small install-base. Developer resources within the company were recently reallocated to focus on faster driver updates for popular operating systems, such as Windows 10 and Windows 7. The company is also consolidating its software teams to focus on a smooth Radeon Vega launch. This seems to be working, since the company recently shipped out a game release-synced driver updates faster than NVIDIA (the recent "For Honor" and "Sniper Elite 4" centric update). The company will sustain a fast driver update cadence especially after the launch of its Radeon Vega high-end graphics card line.
There may be an occasional beta or WHQL release for Windows 8.1 32-bit but regular updates will no longer be offered. Users of this operating system are recommended to upgrade to Windows 10.