Microsoft has confirmed that users of older versions of Windows should expect to “notice a decrease in system performance” after they apply system patches to protect against the Meltdown and Spectre processor bugs.
The bugs, which affect mostly Intel processors but also some ARM and AMD chips, expose the majority of the world’s computers and phones to speculative execution side-channel attacks. Microsoft released security updates on January 3 to fix the issue at the operating system level. Intel also issued updates for its microcode.
In changing the way that Windows accesses the computer’s memory, Microsoft has conceded that users may experience performance hits — depending on the age of their computer’s processor and version of Windows. Microsoft’s Terry Myerson said in a blog post that Windows 7 and Windows 8 users running older processors, like 2015-era Haswell or older chips, will be most affected by performance issues.
Read why Windows 7 and Windows 8 users will notice the greatest decrease in system performance after the processor patches are applied and how those patches will affect the performance of newer Windows versions on ZDNet.