- Flaws in how modern CPUs operate have sent computer makers scrambling to issue fixes.
- The fixes, though, could slow down older machines and servers, Microsoft said.
- Shares of Intel slipped on the news.
In a blog post on Tuesday, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Windows and devices, Terry Myerson, said that a significant slowdown will likely occur on some Windows machines after installing updates to protect against the recently announced Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.
With the post, Microsoft seems to confirm developers’ fears that updates required to protect against recent CPU vulnerabilities could significantly slow servers and older Windows machines. The “Meltdown” and “Spectre” CPU flaws affect nearly every computer, tablet, phone and server made in the last decade.
Microsoft and its peers have been trying to get ahead of the vulnerabilities by releasing updates that make major changes to how computers allow programs to access secure data. The updates could slow computers by up to 30%, according to some early estimates.
Microsoft said that newer personal computers will likely not have a perceivable performance dip. Older personal computers, as well as those running the Windows Server operating system, can expect “more significant slowdowns,” according to Microsoft.
Microsoft said that it is still testing the speed impacts of updating systems, and it doesn’t have concrete numbers yet. The slowdowns will likely depend on the number of times a program asks to access secure data, which means some users could see bigger slowdowns than others.
The software maker also acknowledges that there is still much to be learned as companies like Intel, AMD, Amazon, Google, and Apple all issue updates.