Microsoft announced that it will be expanding its Meltdown mitigation solutions to x86 version of both the legacy Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 operating systems. With this latest round of updates, all of Microsoft's [currently supported] operating systems are hardened against any known Meltdown threats.
In addition, Microsoft has expanded its catalog of Intel-validated microcode updates for Spectre and Meltdown. Microsoft can now deploy these microcode updates to supported Skylake, Kaby Lake and Coffee Lake systems that are running at least Windows 10 version 1709.
“We will continue to broaden the number of Intel microcode updates available via the catalog as they become available to Microsoft from Intel," writes John Cable, Microsoft's Director of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery. "We continue to partner closely with chipset and device makers as they offer more vulnerability mitigations."
You can view a full list of all the available Intel microcode updates by visiting the following link.
In other Patch Tuesday news, Microsoft has announced that it is removing the antivirus compatibility check that prevented some Windows Updates from being installed on Windows 10 systems. Microsoft had put the AV check in place because some programs were stepping out of bounds by making unsupported calls to kernel memory (among other things).
"We continue to require that AV software is compatible and in cases where there are known issues of AV driver compatibility, we will block those devices from receiving Windows updates to avoid any issues," added Cable.