Microsoft expands software and microcode fixes for Meltdown and Spectre
With March's Patch Tuesday updates, Microsoft has expanded coverage of its Meltdown and Spectre software fixes to more versions of Windows.
More than two months on from the disclosure of the Meltdown and Spectre processor vulnerabilities, Microsoft has announced it is greatly expanding coverage for its own fixes. In a new blog post, the company says that it is stepping up distribution of Intel's verified microcode updates for more processors, as well as issuing software security fixes to more versions of Windows.
Included as part of today's Patch Tuesday rollout, Microsoft has expanded protections for the Meltdown vulnerability to x86 editions of Windows 7 and 8.1. That's in addition to emergency fixes Microsoft first rolled out just after the exploits were disclosed. The company notes that it will continue to work on providing updates for additional supported versions of Windows.
In addition to expanding its software fixes, Microsoft says that it has also removed the antivirus compatibility check for security updates on Windows 10. From Microsoft:
As a continuation of an effort that began at the beginning of March, Microsoft is also expanding the number of Intel microcode updates available through the Microsoft Update Catalog. The updates available from Microsoft, which guard against the Spectre Variant 2 vulnerability, now cover a growing range of Skylake, Coffee Lake, and Kaby Lake processors for machines running the Fall Creators Update. This update must be manually downloaded and installed from the Microsoft Update Catalog, and you can find a full list of processors for which it's available at Microsoft.
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Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl.