• KB 4497165: Another Intel microcode update, another round of AMD stupidity

    While most of the Windows fanbase sat mesmerized by a very tiny mention in the Build conference — Project Reunion will bring together UWP and Win32! Windows Subsystem for Linux will be faster! PowerToys gets a 1990s-era keyboard remapper! — Microsoft re-released KB 4497165, the “Intel microcode updates.”

    Microsoft seems to re-release  that patch from time to time, with no seeming rhyme nor reason. The KB article itself says it was last updated on February 25 (see the footnote “As of February 25, 2020, the update for these select products (CPUs) are available through Windows Update.”). Yes, the download notice (screenshot) says 2020-01, which doesn’t seem to correspond to anything. No idea why it’s coming out now and, as usual, Microsoft hasn’t said a thing.

    These Intel microcode updates, in case you missed the original sturm und drang, are a never-ending series of stopgap changes designed to minimize (but not eliminate) the threat of Meltdown and Spectre infections. While those of you in charge of banks, brokerage houses, and RSA encryption crackers should be concerned about the threat, normal Windows users needn’t worry. In spite of all the press and hoopla, there’s never been a garden-variety Meltdown or Spectre exploit that targets “normal” users.

    In addition to re-releasing the patch with no comment and no advice, I see that many people running AMD processors are getting KB 4497165 installed as well. It actually appears on the installed patches list. That isn’t supposed to happen – the patch is only for Intel processors – but, hey, this is Microsoft.

    My advice? Unless you’re at risk (clandestinely decrypting those political missives, eh?), forget about it. The patch doesn’t seem to hurt performance in any measurable way, so if you get it, don’t worry about it.