Microsoft says security patches slowing down PCs, servers

Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday that software patches released to guard against microchip security threats slowed down some personal computers and servers, with systems running on older Intel Corp processors seeing a noticeable decrease in performance. The comments in a blog post were the clearest signal from Microsoft that fixes for flaws in microchips from Intel and rivals described last week could meaningfully degrade performance. The topic is of keen interest to large data center operators, which could incur significant cost increases if computers slow down. Microsoft also said that security updates froze some computers using chipsets from Intel rival AMD, dragging AMD’s shares down nearly 4 percent. Shares in Intel, which reiterated on Tuesday that it saw no sign of significant slowdown in computers, fell 2.5 percent taking the loss since the issue surfaced last week to about 7 percent or around $15 billion in market value. AMD shares have gained nearly 20 percent in the last week as investors speculated that the chipmaker could wrest market share from Intel, whose chips were most exposed to the security flaws. Security researchers disclosed the flaws on Jan. 3 that affected nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, AMD and ARM Holdings, owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. “We (and others in the industry) had learned of this vulnerability under nondisclosure agreement several months ago and immediately began developing engineering mitigations and updating our cloud infrastructure,” Microsoft executive Terry Myerson wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. Internet and… [Read full story]

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