IT'S MICROSOFT'S MONTHLY PATCHING TIME, with Redmond pasting over some 51 security holes across Windows 10, 7, and 8.1, along with other nasties in its suite of software.
One major security bork in the Windows Jet Database Engine, which can be found in every modern version of the operating systems and messes up how objects are handled in memory, has been fixed. That's a good thing given the flaw has been kicking around since September.
Critical flaws in Microsoft's Exchange Server and Hyper-V were also fixed, along with remote execution bugs in scripting engines for Internet Explorer and Edge, as well as a elevated execution privilege vulnerability in Skype for Android - deeper analysis of the patching was has been carried out by Dustin Childs, a researcher at Trend Micro ZDI and the folks at Beeping Computer have a list of the fixed flaws.
So that's all good stuff, if you're into patching. But another interesting nugget of Windows-related news is that Microsoft has plans to tickle Windows 10 into reserving 7GB of PC storage to better facilitate its major updates.
Having gone through what can only be described as quite a mess when it came to last year's October Update, Microsoft's storage segregation will aim to ensure that updates install more reliably.
The reserved space will be used for cached and temporary files so that it's not sitting there sullen and unused. But when an update wings its way out of Redmond's servers, the files will be purged to make way for the patch.
"Starting with the next major update we're making a few changes to how Windows 10 manages disk space. Through reserved storage, some disk space will be set aside to be used by updates, apps, temporary files, and system caches,' said Microsoft's Jesse Rajwan.
"Our goal is to improve the day-to-day function of your PC by ensuring critical OS functions always have access to disk space. Without reserved storage, if a user almost fills up her or his storage, several Windows and application scenarios become unreliable.
"Windows and application scenarios may not work as expected if they need free space to function. With reserved storage, updates, apps, temporary files, and caches are less likely to take away from valuable free space and should continue to operate as expected."
Such a move sounds sensible, but it could really nark people with laptops with limited storage space, such as an entry-level Surface Pro, which in our experience can really slow down once storage gets filled up.
And Rajwan noted that the 7GB of reserved storage might grow: "We may adjust the size of reserved storage in the future based on diagnostic data or feedback."
While upgrading the storage on desktop PCs isn't too difficult or expensive any more, people looking to buy slim and lower-end Windows 10 ultraportables in 2019 might want to think a bit more carefully when selecting models with scant storage space. µ
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