Microsoft expands Spectre, Meltdown patches to include Windows 7/8.1, more Intel chips
Microsoft said Tuesday that it has expanded its ongoing efforts to patch the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities in two directions: by providing patches for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, and archiving microcode patches for Intel's Skylake, Kaby Lake, and Coffee Lake chips. To address Meltdown and Spectre, PC owners need patches for both the operating system and the processor on their device.
To date, Microsoft's efforts to patch the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities have focused on providing the most recent updates for Windows 10, its most modern operating system. On Tuesday, it began adding support for both Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 via Windows Update and its archived patch catalog, though there's a catch: only 32-bit versions are currently included.
Microsoft also said it has begun archiving microcode patches that support Intel's Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake chips, all members of Intel's line of Core microprocessors. Microsoft had begun archiving some of Intel's Skylake microcode patches for Spectre and Meltdown and earlier this month.
What this means for you: Microsoft's latest efforts simply make available Meltdown and Spectre patches to more PC users. Sure, the majority of Windows 7 and 8.1 users probably run 64-bit versions of Windows. But Microsoft's step-by-step approach to increasing support for Spectre and Meltdown patches also means that you can probably expect support for more of Intel's processors, as well as 64-bit versions of Windows 7/8.1, within the coming weeks. As always, the best way to protect yourself against Spectre, Meltdown, and other vulnerabilities is to patch your PCs.
Read full article @ https://www.pcworld.com/article/3262969/windows/microsoft-expands-spectre-meltdown-patches-windows-7-81-intel-skylake-coffee-lake-kaby-lake.html