Microsoft now distributing Intel microcode updates to combat Meltdown and Spectre

After the disclosure of the Spectre and Meltdown processor vulnerabilities in January, Microsoft quickly worked to issue emergency patches for Windows and its Surface devices. In a new blog post, Microsoft says it is continuing work on mitigating the exploits and has provided an update on its progress.

Following up on Intel's release of microcode updates for some of its newer processor platforms last week, Microsoft says it is now distributing those updates via the Microsoft Update Catalog.

Though Intel's release covered Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, and Skylake platforms, Microsoft says its initial updates will only cover Skylake devices running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. The Skylake microcode update is listed as KB4090007 (opens in new tab). Microsoft says that more Intel microcode updates will be released as they're made available.

Aside from the new microcode updates, Microsoft warns that you'll want to make sure that your antivirus software is up to date in order to avoid any compatibility issues with further Windows updates. From Microsoft:

The continued focus of our work with our AV partners and customers is to manage the risk of compatibility issues, especially those that result from AV software that makes unsupported calls into Windows kernel memory. Due to this potential risk, we require that AV software is up to date and compatible. We will continue to require that an AV compatibility check is made before delivering the latest Windows security updates via Windows Update until we have a sufficient level of AV software compatibility. We recommend users check with their AV provider on compatibility of their installed AV software products.

Expect further microcode updates to become available for more Intel CPU platforms in the future. For now, you can best defend yourself by making sure that your devices are up to date with both Windows security and feature updates, Microsoft says. For more, you can keep track of what Spectre and Meltdown updates are available at Microsoft's support site (opens in new tab).

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

  • So not fully secured?
  • And it says it's not applicable to my computer, even though my CPU (i5 4430) is listed as affected. I don't get it, really really do not get it. None of the released patches or microcode or whatever they call it, seems to be applicable. I'm on Win 10 x64 Build 17604
  • Your processor is part of the Hawell family, no microcode has been released for your processor yet.
  • Haswell and Broadwell microcode patches were done and sent to OEMs.
  • Look your processor up on the first digit is the generation there is only a fix for 6xxx and above right now
  • And 1709.  I have a i5-6400 and it won't install because I'm on 17604.  Asus hasn't released a bios update for my PC(G11CD Oculus Ready, purchased 1/17) since 3-2017.
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