If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels. The agency initially advised that the Spectre flaw could only be addressed by swapping out for an unaffected processor before revising its position to advise that applying vendor-supplied patches offered sufficient mitigation.
Intel meanwhile has said that it has identified the problems causing the issues and has vowed to release a fix soon that doesn't restart or cause data losses in systems it will be deployed on. Microsoft told ZDNet it's now waiting for Intel to release the fixed firmware version after determining "system stability can in some circumstances cause data loss or corruption".
Update KB4078130 was delivered in haste to reverse the system instability that Intel's Spectre variant 2 (CVE 2017-5715 Branch Target Injection) could cause. This update covers Windows 7 (SP1), Windows 8.1, and all versions of Windows 10, for client and server. For the full list of devices, see Intel's microcode revision guidance.
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Intel is now planning to come out with new chips that will not be affected by the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, and it plans to do so within the year. This update will only disable mitigation against CVE-2017-5715, while keeping the fixes for Meltdown and Spectre variant 1 in place. Microsoft's patches are created to resolve problems in machines that have already received the Intel patch and to prevent unpatched devices from installing Intel's patch. You can also install it manually from the Microsoft Update Catalog, which ironically is styled like Windows XP.
As per the report, initial disclosures about the vulnerabilities were made to select large customers that included USA companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, but also foreign companies such as ARM Holdings in the United Kingdom, along with Lenovo and Alibaba in China. The company is scrambling to address these issues and avoid any legal action, but in the process have caused more problems than they've fixed.
Intel is "working around the clock to ensure we are addressing these issues", Navin Shenoy, executive vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group, said in an update last week.