Microsoft shares fall, warns security patches can slow some devices

on Jan 10, 2018

Microsoft shares moved lower Tuesday, as the global tech firm warned the performance of some tech devices is being adversely affected by the patches it has created to mitigate the security flaws discovered in numerous processing chips.

Microsoft shares ended the US trading session 0.07% lower at $88.22. Chipmaker shares also declined:

  • Intel shares slid 2.5% to $43.62.
  • AMD shares closed 3.75% lower at $11.82.
  • Shares in Arm Holdings owner Softbank, meanwhile, ended 0.50% lower in the early Wednesday Asian trading session.

Older chips, laptops fare the worst

In a blog post, Microsoft said that of the 45 Microsoft versions it currently supports, it has issued patches for 41 of them.

However, while there has been only minimal performance impact on the newer versions of Microsoft running on newer laptops with the latest model of processing chips, older versions and models aren’t faring so well.

“Windows Server on any silicon, especially in any IO-intensive application, shows a more significant performance impact when you enable the mitigations to isolate untrusted code within a Windows Server instance,” said Windows and Devices Group Executive Vice President, Terry Myerson.

He adds that this means users of these types of devices must carefully asses the trade off between the slower performance induced by the patch and the security risk left open, without it.

Myerson also said the tech industry is continuing to work together, to help protect users’ personal and sensitive data, in a way that has less impact on the performance of older devices.

Intel re-iterates minimal performance impact from updates

While Microsoft has listed the situations in which its security patches are having a notable impact on users’ experiences, Intel issued a release Tuesday, stating that any impact should only be minimal.

“Based on our most recent PC benchmarking, we continue to expect that the performance impact should not be significant for average computer users,” Intel said.

“This means the typical home and business PC user should not see significant slowdowns in common tasks such as reading email, writing a document or accessing digital photos,” the chipmaker added.