All posts on January, 2018


Microsoft’s mystifying Meltdown/Spectre patches for AMD processors

I’ve seen a lot of bizarre Microsoft patches-of-patches, but the new patches for AMD processors are in a world of their own. The security-only, manually downloadable patches appear to be Meltdown/Spectre patches for machines that were bricked by other bad patches, earlier this month, but they’ve arrived with no instructions — and a strange circular logic.

Last week, Microsoft released two patches, with these official titles:

  • KB 4073578: Unbootable state for AMD devices in Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
  • KB 4073576: Unbootable state for AMD devices in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

The Win7 KB article says:

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IDG Contributor Network: CES 2018: Microsoft’s broad near-term vision of our very different technology future

[Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.]

I got to sit down with Microsoft prior to the start of CES to talk about the broad future visions they’ve been sharing with folks all week.  As you would expect, given this is CES, focus was on personal technology.  This was separate from Surface or any other tightly focused effort and it was more Windows centric as well.  The near-term future of personal technology strategy from Microsoft is broken down into the following areas:

Lots of choice

This has always been a keystone of the Microsoft strategy in the 1980s/90s and why they so easily rolled over Apple and Sun last century.  They had the advantage of leverage because they had lots of hardware licensees while Apple and Sun had to go it alone.  (Strangely this strategy didn’t work with Smartphones but that was largely because Microsoft didn’t capture the developers like they did initially with Windows). 

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