Users attempting to install Windows with Apple's dual-boot solution are prompted to install "Windows 8 or later" by the setup assistant, according to independent Mac developers Twocanoes. Apple subsequently confirmed the changes with an update to its Boot Camp support documentation uncovered by MacWindows.com.
The change is unlikely to please professional users who will be forced to choose between upgrading to Windows 8, migrating their Windows 7 environment to a virtualization package, or choosing a different Mac. The oft-maligned Windows 8 has suffered much the same fate as Windows Vista, largely passed over by corporate IT departments and professional users thanks to its controversial architecture and user interface changes.
The new Mac Pro is the first Mac to drop support for Microsoft's previous-generation operating system, but subsequent releases will presumably follow suit. Apple stopped supporting Windows XP and Vista installations beginning with the second-generation MacBook Air, just under two years after the release of Windows 7.