DirectX 12 comes to select Windows 7 games

Microsoft revealed on the official DirectX blog that Blizzard’s World of Warcraft game is the first game to support DirectX 12 on Windows 7.
DirectX, a set of multimedia APIs used especially in PC games, is included natively in Windows. Microsoft releases new versions of DirectX regularly that introduce new features and improvements.
The company announced DirectX 12 in 2014 and launched it officially in Windows 10 in 2015. Microsoft decided to make DirectX 12 Windows 10 exclusive which meant that customers who ran Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 were limited to DirectX 11. This was not the first time that Microsoft decided to limit DirectX though.
When it released Windows Vista in 2006, it made DirectX 10 a Vista exclusive. The exclusivity backfired back then as the majority of game developers ignored DirectX 10 and focused on DirectX 9.0 instead which Windows XP supported as well.
According to Microsoft’s blog post, it was Blizzard and other game companies that wanted to bring DirectX 12 support to their games on Windows 7. DirectX 12 offers advantages, such as low-level programing APIs or multi-GPU support, over previous versions of DirectX.

Microsoft ported the user mode Direct3D 12 runtime to Windows 7 in response so the request so that select games can use DirectX 12 on the operating system.
Today, with game patch 8.1.5 for World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, Blizzard becomes the first game developer to use DirectX 12 for Windows 7! Now, Windows 7 WoW gamers can run the game using DirectX 12 and enjoy a framerate boost [..]
Microsoft is “working with a few other game developers” currently according to the blog post. DirectX 12 won’t become available universally on Windows 7, but only for select games according to Microsoft.
It is unclear if the games will use DirectX 12 on Windows 7 only, or if the games will also use it on Windows 8.1. The newer operating system, supported until 2023, is not mentioned once by Microsoft.
The announcement comes as a surprise for a number of reasons; probably the biggest is timing.
Windows 7 has a remaining lifetime of just 9 months before Microsoft ends support. Microsoft did not reveal why it caved in and ported DirectX 12 to Windows 7 for select games. Maybe because it was not all that much of an effort to do so, or because it expects that many customers will keep on running Windows 7 for some time after support ends.
A look back at the end of support for Windows XP suggests that history could repeat itself. It took years after support end before Windows XP usage numbers dropped significantly.
The move would make sense if Windows 8.1 gamers would benefit from DirectX 12 support as well but that is unclear at this point.
Another reason why the decision is surprising is that Microsoft does not back port features to older versions of Windows once it made the decision to limit them artificially to new versions of Windows.
The change may be beneficial to game developers who have a large enough base of users on Windows 7 as they may focus on the DirectX 12 version of the game and introduce performance improvements at the same time.
Now You: What is your take on this?
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Microsoft Windows Security Updates March 2019 overview

Today is the third patch day of the year 2019. Microsoft released updates for Microsoft Windows, Office, and other company products on March 12, 2019.
The updates are already available via Windows Update, as direct downloads, and through other updating systems that Microsoft supports.
Our monthly patch overview provides you with detailed information and links to support pages for further analysis.
The overview starts with an executive summary. What follows are statistics, information about cumulative updates for Windows, links to all security and non-security updates that Microsoft released, information about known issues, direct download links, and more.
Here is the link to last month’s patch overview in case you missed it.
We suggest that you create backups of the system and data that is important to you before you install any updates.
Microsoft Windows Security Updates March 2019
You may download the following Excel spreadsheet that lists all security updates released for all Microsoft products in March 2019. Click on the following link to download it to your device:
March 2019 Security Updates spreadsheet Windows
Executive Summary

Microsoft released security products for all client and server based versions of Windows that it supports.
The company released security updates for the following products next to that: Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Office and SharePoint, Skype for Business, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio, and NuGet.
Microsoft released SHA-2 Code sign support for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 as a security update. See this support article for additional information.

Operating System Distribution

Windows 7: 21 vulnerabilities of which 3 are rated critical and 18 are rated important.

Same as Windows 10 version 1607

Windows 8.1: 20 vulnerabilities of which 3 are rated critical and 17 are rated important.

Same as Windows 10 version 1607

Windows 10 version 1607:  24 vulnerabilities of which 3 are critical and 21 are important

 CVE-2019-0603 | Windows Deployment Services TFTP Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
Same as Windows 10 version 1709

Windows 10 version 1703:  24 vulnerabilities of which 2 are critical and 22 are important

Same as Windows 10 version 1709

Windows 10 version 1709: 28 vulnerabilities of which 2 are critical and 26 are important

CVE-2019-0756 | MS XML Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0784 | Windows ActiveX Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Windows 10 version 1803: 33 vulnerabilities of which 6 are critical and 27 are important

same as Windows 10 version 1809

Windows 10 version 1809: 33 vulnerabilities of which 6 are critical and 27 are important

CVE-2019-0603 | Windows Deployment Services TFTP Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0697 | Windows DHCP Client Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0698 | Windows DHCP Client Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0726 | Windows DHCP Client Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0756 | MS XML Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0784 | Windows ActiveX Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Windows Server products

Windows Server 2008 R2: 21 vulnerabilities of which 3 are critical and 17 are important.

Same as Windows Server 2016.

Windows Server 2012 R2: 20 vulnerabilities of which 3 are critical and 17 are important.

Same as Windows Server 2016.

Windows Server 2016: 24 vulnerabilities of which 3 are critical and 21 are important.

CVE-2019-0603 | Windows Deployment Services TFTP Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0756 | MS XML Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0784 | Windows ActiveX Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Windows Server 2019: 33 vulnerabilities of which 5 are critical and 27 are important.

CVE-2019-0603 | Windows Deployment Services TFTP Server Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0697 | Windows DHCP Client Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0698 | Windows DHCP Client Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0726 | Windows DHCP Client Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0756 | MS XML Remote Code Execution Vulnerability
CVE-2019-0784 | Windows ActiveX Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Other Microsoft Products

Internet Explorer 11: 14 vulnerability, 4 critical, 10 important
Microsoft Edge: 14 vulnerabilities, 7 critical, 7 important

Windows Security Updates
Windows 10 version 1809
KB4489899

Fixed a tracking and device calibration issue that affected Microsoft HoloLens.
Fixed “Error 1309” when installing or removing MSI and MSP files.
Fixed the graphics performance degredation issue.
Security updates for various Windows components.

Windows 10 version 1803
KB4489868

Fixed the “Error 1309” notification.
Security updates for various Windows components.

Windows 10 version 1709
KB4489886

Fixed “Error 1309”.
Security updates for various Windows components.

Windows 10 version 1703
KB4489871

Fixed “Error 1309”.
Fixed _isleadbyte_l() returning 0.
Security updates for various Windows components.

Windows 10 version 1607 / Server 2016
KB4489882

Fixed “Error 1309”.
Fixed an issue that caused Windows Server to stop working and restarting “when hosting multiple terminal server sessions and a user logs off”.
Fixed _isleadbyte_l() returning 0.
Security updates for various Windows components.

Windows 8.1
KB4489881 Monthly Rollup

Fixed the “Error 1309” issue.
Fixed an issue with a virtual memory leak and depletion of paged pool.
Various security updates for Windows components.

KB4489883 Security-only Update

Additional Japanese Era name fixes.
Same as Monthly Rollup.

Windows 7 Service Pack 1
KB4489878 Monthly Rollup

Fixed an issue that prevented the Event Viewer from showing Network Interface Cards events.
Various security updates for Windows components.

KB4489885 Security-only Update

Additional Japanese ERA name fixes.
Same as Monthly Rollup.

Other security updates
KB4489873 — Cumulative security update for Internet Explorer: March 12, 2019
KB4474419 — SHA-2 code signing support update for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7: March 12, 2019
KB4486468 — Security update for the information disclosure vulnerability in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4486536 — Security update for the information disclosure vulnerability in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4486538 — Security update for the elevation of privilege vulnerability in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4489493 — Security update for the information disclosure vulnerability in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4489876 — Security Only Quality Update for Windows Server 2008
KB4489880 — Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Server 2008
KB4489884 -Security Only Quality Update for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012
KB4489891 — Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows Embedded 8 Standard and Windows Server 2012
KB4489907 — Adobe Flash Player update
KB4489973 — Security update for the remote code execution vulnerability in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4489974 — Security update for the remote code execution vulnerabilities in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4489977 — Security update for the remote code execution vulnerability in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4490228 — Security update for the remote code execution vulnerability in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4490385 — Security update for the information disclosure vulnerabilities in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4490500 — Security update for the elevation of privilege vulnerabilities in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4490501 — Security update for the information disclosure vulnerability in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
KB4493341 — Security update for the information disclosure vulnerability in Windows Embedded POSReady 2009: March 12, 2019
Known Issues
4489878 Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (Monthly Rollup) AND
4489885 Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (Security-only update) AND
4489884 Windows Server 2012 (Security-only update) AND
4489891 Windows Server 2012 (Monthly Rollup)

Internet Explorer 10 may have authentication issues

Create unique user accounts to avoid same user account sharing and resolve the issue.

4489881 Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 (Monthly Rollup) AND
4489883 Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2 (Security-only update)

IE11 may have authentication issues.

4489882 Windows 10 version 1607, Windows Server 2016

System Center Virtual Machine Manager managed hosts cannot “enumerate and manage logical switches”.

Run mofcomp on Scvmmswitchportsettings.mof and VMMDHCPSvr.mof

Cluster service may fail with error “2245 (NERR_PasswordTooShort)”.

Set the Minimum Password Length policy to less or equal to 14 characters.

IE11 may have authentication issues.

4489899 Windows 10 version 1809, Windows Server 2019

IE11 may have authentication issues.
Output devices may stop working on devices with multiple audio devices. Affected applications include Windows Media Player, Sound Blaster Control Panel, and Realtek HD Audio Manager.

Temporary workaround: set the output device to default.

Security advisories and updates
ADV190008 | March 2019 Adobe Flash Security Update
ADV190010 | Best Practices Regarding Sharing of a Single User Account Across Multiple Users
ADV990001 | Latest Servicing Stack Updates
Non-security related updates
KB4484071 — Update for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2008
KB4487989 — Update for POSReady 2009
KB4490628 — Servicing Stack Update for Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2
KB4489723 — Dynamic Update for for Windows 10 Version 1803
KB890830 — Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool - March 2019
Microsoft Office Updates
Microsoft released non-security and security updates for supported Microsoft Office products in March 2019. Information is available here.
How to download and install the March 2019 security updates

Windows updates are installed automatically on most systems by default. Windows administrators may speed up the process by searching for updates manually or by downloading them directly from the Microsoft Update Catalog website.
Direct update downloads
Cumulative updates that Microsoft releases as well as other updates get uploaded to the Microsoft Update Catalog website.
You find links to all cumulative updates for client and server versions of Microsoft Windows.
Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP

KB4489878 — 2019-03 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 7
KB4489885 — 2019-03 Security Only Quality Update for Windows 7

Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

KB4489881- 2019-03 Security Monthly Quality Rollup for Windows 8.1
KB4489883 — 2019-03 Security Only Quality Update for Windows 8.1

Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 (version 1607)

KB4489882 — 2019-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607

Windows 10 (version 1703)

 KB4489871 — 2019-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1703

Windows 10 (version 1709)

KB4489886- 2019-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1709

Windows 10 (version 1803)

KB4489868 — 2019-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1803

Windows 10 (version 1809)

 KB4489899 — 2019-03 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1809

Additional resources

March 2019 Security Updates release notes
List of software updates for Microsoft products
List of the latest Windows Updates and Services Packs
Security Updates Guide
Microsoft Update Catalog site
Our in-depth Windows update guide
How to install optional updates on Windows 10
Windows 10 Update History
Windows 8.1 Update History
Windows 7 Update History

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Windows may uninstall updates that cause startup problems

Microsoft implemented a new troubleshooting step recently in Windows 10 that improves the operating system’s handling of startup problems.
Windows 10 may uninstall recently installed operating system updates automatically to address startup issues as a last resort if all other steps to fix the issue fail.
Startup problems are one of the most frustrating issues that Windows users may experience. One of the big issues for users is that they have only a few options at their disposal to fix the issue: using built-in troubleshooting options, recovery disks or tools, or restoring backups of the system if they do exist.
Updates can be the source of startup problems. Updates may cause bluescreens or other startup related issues that prevent the system from booting.
To name just a few recent incidents:

Microsoft releases AMD-specific Windows 7 and 8.1 updates to fix unbootable state issue
New Windows 10 version 1809 woes: no audio, bluescreens
How to fix Boot BCD startup errors on Windows PCs
Fix Windows 7 BSOD 0x000000c4 after installing KB4056894

We removed some recently installed updates

Windows 10 may remove recently installed updates as part of a troubleshooting process to restore proper startup behavior.
The operating system informs the user about the removal of updates on the next successful start:
We removed some recently installed updates to recover your device from a startup failure.
Microsoft notes on a support page that this is done only if all other attempts to recover the boot process and system start fail.
Updates removed in the process will be blocked for 30 days automatically to avoid the issue from happening again. Blocked updates will be downloaded and installed again after the 30-day period, and that may mean that the issue is experienced again if Microsoft did not resolve it in the time.
Administrators who want to block the update continuously may use Microsoft’s update blocking tool to do so.
Closing Words
Automatic recovery is great if it works and the new update removal option is certainly a welcome addition to the automatic recovery process. The option speeds up the recovery if it works.
The new option may resolve some issues automatically but it certainly is not a catch-all option that recovery any issue that is update related.
Administrators still need to use advanced troubleshooting tools or recovery images to restore a system to a working state if automatic recovery fails.
Now You: Did you run into update related issues recently? (via Bleeping Computer / Windows Latest)
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It is time to defer the next feature update for Windows 10

Microsoft plans to finish the next feature update for Windows 10, Windows 10 version 1903, sometime later this month. Windows 10 version 1903 will become available then at the end of March or the beginning of April 2019.
First, to administrators of Windows who deploy it actively, then after a while on systems automatically provided that automatic update functionality has not been turned off.
The release of Windows 10 version 1809, the last feature update for Windows 10, has shown that things can go terribly wrong even with all the Insider build testing and Microsoft’s focus on data analysis.
There is no guarantee that the new feature update will offer a smoother experience and that is the main reason why administrators and users may want to defer the installation of the update. Instead of being among the first to upgrade to the new version and participate in what some call a second beta phase, it seems more reasonable to watch from the second row how things unfold.
Millions of devices will be upgraded in the first few days to the new version and it does not take long, usually, before reports about issues in the new version emerge.
It is a good idea to defer the update unless you need to install the new feature update version as soon as possible.
Tip: Check out our detailed guide on delaying feature update releases on Windows 10 machines.
How to delay Windows 10 version 1903
Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise and Education systems include two options to defer feature updates:

Setting the branch readiness level (this option goes away in Windows 10 version 1903).
Specifying the deferral for x days.

While you may use the Settings application to defer the update, it is recommended that you configure the deferral using the Group Policy editor instead as this option will remain available (it seems as if Microsoft will remove all deferral options from the Settings app in Windows 10 version 1903).
The Group Policy method:

Make sure that you have elevated rights.
Load the Group Policy Editor, e.g. by opening Start, typing gpedit.msc, and selecting the result.
Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business.
Double-click on “Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received”.
Set the policy to enabled.
Change the number of days under “After a Preview Build or Feature Update is released, defer receiving it for this many days” to 90 days. Doing so blocks the update for about three months. You may set it to a different number of days, e.g. 120 days or 60 days.
Click ok.

Doing so blocks the automatic installation of the feature update on the PC for the select number of days.
Home system administrators can’t use that option. They may either make changes to the Registry directly, or try and set the connection to metered. How that is done is explained here.
Third-party tools like StopUpdates10 or Windows 10 Update Switch may also be worth a try.
Now You: What is your expectation for Windows 10 version 1903?
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Surface Go: how to turn Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Home or Pro

I bought a Surface Go device recently to check it out and write a thorough review later. I would not have done so if the device would come with a locked Windows 10 S operating system and no option to upgrade.
Why? Because Windows 10 S limits you to what is installed by default, the Microsoft Store, and web applications. All legacy Win32 programs don’t run on Windows 10 S. While some users may not mind, if you just use Office and the Internet, you may not mind that you cannot install Win32 apps, I do mind and it affects my buying decision.
Microsoft’s Surface Go is 10″ 2-in-1 tablet that comes preinstalled with Windows 10 S. I bought the 128 Gigabyte SSD 8 Gigabyte of RAM version, an extra Surface Go Type Cover, and a USB-C to USB 3.x and 2.x adapter.
Anyway, the very first thing I did after I completed the initial setup was to figure out how to turn the Surface Go into a full Windows operating system.
Note: While you can turn an S mode edition to Home or Pro, you cannot go back to S mode once you have made the change unless you wipe the device and start from scratch.
Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Home/Pro

The very first thing that you may want to do is verify the version of the operating system. One option to do so is to use the built-in tool winver.
Open the Start Menu, type winver, and select the result (Tip: see a list of Windows tools like winver here). Windows displays the version underneath the copyright line in the program window that opens.
The system on the screenshot above returned Windows 10 Home in S mode.
Microsoft’s operating system did not display tips or a suggestion in regards to turning the S version into a full version.
Here is how that is done in detail:
The process is straightforward once you know what to do. A restart is not required and the whole operation takes less than ten minutes to complete.
Step 1: Open Activation in the Settings application

Open the Settings application with the shortcut Windows-I. If you prefer to use the menu, select Start > Settings instead.
Select Windows Update > Activation to display the operating system’s activation status. It should highlight the version of Windows at the top (again Windows 10 Home in S mode in the case of the device that I used), and the Activation status (usually activated with a digital license).
Below that you see options to switch to full versions of Windows. The offered version depends on the current edition of Windows.
If you have Windows 10 Home in S mode, you may upgrade to Windows 10 Home for free. Likewise, if you have Windows 10 Pro in S mode, you may upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free. You may upgrade Home editions to Pro. Microsoft asked for  €99 for the upgrade.
Select “go to the Microsoft Store” under the “Switch to” link on the page.
Step 2: Switch out of S mode

The second and final step of the conversion happens in the Microsoft Store application. The Store application displays the “Switch out of S mode” page that offers information and an actionable button to start the conversion.
The only feature difference between S mode and Full mode that is highlighted on the page is the ability to install “any app” in full mode.
Select the “get” button at the top to start the process; this takes just a moment and changes the “get” button into an “install” button.
Select install to start the conversion from S mode to Home or Pro depending on the supported edition.
The process completes silently in the background, a restart is not required and the version that is listed in winver should return Windows 10 Home as the edition afterward.
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Microsoft's data-focused approach to Windows Updates requires an update

Microsoft uses a data-focused approach to determine if updates are ready for wider distribution and it appears that the company is very content with the approach.
Issues of recent updates suggest that Microsoft may need to rethink its strategy when it comes to Windows Updates.
Microsoft started a new series on the official Windows Experience blog some time ago in which company representatives lift the veil in regards to the company’s strive for quality.
Microsoft told the public that update quality is better than ever, and that the same is true for the quality of released device drivers.
In “Data, insights and listening to improve the customer experience”, information is provided on how Microsoft uses data to determine the quality of updates.
The fundamental question that Microsoft asks for each release is “Is this Windows Update ready for customers?”. Updates go through different stages during development:

Automatic and manual testing of updates.
Evaluation of quality based on diagnostic data and feedback from Microsoft engineers.
Distribution to Windows Insiders and further evaluation of updates.
Distribution to the general Windows population.

The metrics that Microsoft gathers and monitors need to be equal to or better than the metrics of the previous update.
By the time we are ready to ship to our customer base, our metrics must be, at a minimum, at or above the quality levels for the previous release, the idea being that every update should make the Windows 10 experience better.
Is the approach sufficient?

Data plays an important role when it comes to the release of updates. Microsoft, and any other company for that matter, may use it to make sure that certain features behave as intended. It is certainly possible to catch bugs by just looking at data but if you look at recent updates, you will notice that things were not as smooth as Microsoft’s data focused appraoch suggested.
Microsoft had to pause the Windows 10 version 1809 feature update because it caused a lot of issues. To name just a few:

A Data loss issue
Another data loss issue
No audio issue and bluescreens
Font display issues
Mapped network drives issues

All of these issues were not detected during tests conducted by Microsoft, by diagnostic data, and by feedback that Microsoft engineers and participants of Microsoft’s Insider program provided.
A game performance related bug was not detected in the most recent update for Windows 10 version 1809. Microsoft had to update the support article to add the performance affecting bug to the list of known issues of the update.
The problem
Microsoft engineers and participants of the Insider program may not provide a sufficient sample size to provide data for all major use cases. Gaming might be such a case. It seems unlikely that Microsoft engineers spend a lot of time playing games on their devices. Even if they would, they could never test new versions of Windows on tens of thousands of games that are available for PC. The bulk of Insider participants may not be interested in games as well. Gaming is just one area where Microsoft’s approach falls short.
It is certainly unrealistic to expect Microsoft to catch all issues in all updates before release. The sheer number of hardware and software configurations makes that an impossible task.
But major issues, like game performance in popular games, should not hit the general population.
That’s one reason why it is a good idea to install updates a while after release and not as early as possible: you never know what is going to happen.
Now You: Let me know what you think about all of this, and how Microsoft could improve update quality.
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KB4482887 for Windows 10 1809 causes game performance issues

Microsoft released the cumulative update KB4482887 for Windows 10 version 1809 on March 1, 2019 officially.
The update had two known issues initially which Microsoft highlighted on the official Support page on the Microsoft website.
The company added a third issue to the page today that confirms that the update is causing game performance issues with certain games. Microsoft mentions Destiny 2 specifically; users may experience mouse and graphics related performance issues in other desktop games as well.
After installing KB4482887, users may notice graphics and mouse performance degradation with desktop gaming when playing certain games (eg: Destiny 2).
Microsoft provides no information on the cause for the issue or the types of games that are affected by it.
There is no workaround for the issue right now and Microsoft appears to be working on a solution.
Microsoft suggests that gamers who experience the issue should remove the cumulative update KB4482887 from their devices in the meantime to resolve the issue.
Gamers who have not updated Windows 10 PCs yet may want to delay the update to avoid performance related issues. Pro users may pause updates to block updates from being downloaded and installed on the device.
Update uninstallation

Tip: Check out our guide on uninstalling Windows Update for detailed instructions.
Here is how you remove the update using the Control Panel:

Use Windows-X to display the hidden menu and select Control Panel from the options.
Select Uninstall a Program.
Select View installed updates.
Locate KB4482887 in the list.
Right-click on the update and select Uninstall.

Here is how you remove the update using the command prompt:

Open an elevated command prompt, e.g. by opening the Start menu, typing cmd.exe, right-clicking on the result and selecting Run as Administrator. Or, by using Windows-X to display the “hidden” menu and selecting Command Prompt (admin) from the options.
Run the command wusa /uninstall /kb:4482887 /quiet to uninstall the cumulative update.

You need to restart the PC either way to complete the uninstallation.
Closing words
I don’t play that many games anymore but could not detect any performance issue while playing Dota 2 (Auto Chess) and several boardgame conversions on a PC with KB4482887.
Now You: Did you notice performance issues after installing the update?
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Windows Server 2019: removed and deprecated features

Every new Windows 10 or Windows Server release makes changes to existing features. Some of these features are removed entirely from new versions of the operating systems, others may be deprecated.
Deprecation means that the feature remains available in the release but is not developed actively anymore. Microsoft may release security updates for it if it becomes necessary, but it won’t release feature updates for deprecated products anymore.
Windows Server 2019 is no exception to the rule. Note that the list that follows is subject to change.
Windows Server 2019: removed and deprecated features

The following features are removed in Windows Server 2019.

Distributable Scan Management (SCM), also known as Business Scanning — removed because of a lack of devices that support the feature (Microsoft states none support it).
Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) — used to interaction between iSNS servers and clients. Microsoft suggests to use Server Message Block (SMB 3.0) instead.

The following features change significantly

Print Components (Server Core) — Microsoft enabled Print Components on Windows Server 2016 by default. In Windows Server 2019, Print Components are disabled by default in Server Core installations. Admins may install the component using the PowerShell cmdlet Install-WindowsFeature Print-Server.
Remote Desktop Connection Broker and Remote Desktop Virtualization Host (Server Core) — these roles require Server with Desktop Experience in Windows Server 2019 to be consistent with the requirement of Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH).

Deprecated features in Windows Server 2019
The following features are deprecated in Windows Server 2019 (no longer developed):

Key Storage Drive in Hyper-V — Generation 2 virtual machines with TPM devices offer a more secure solution. Microsoft.
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) management console — The information is available under Device Security in the Windows Defender Security Center.
Host Guardian Service Active Directory attestation mode — Microsoft added a new simpler mode called host key attestation and compatible with Active Directory based attestation. This doc offers additional information.
OneSync service — the Outlook application takes over the syncing of Mail, Calendar and People apps data.
Remote Differential Compression API support — this enabled remote source data syncing with compression technologies. No Microsoft product uses the technology currently.
WFP lightweight filter switch extension — allowed developers to create network packet filtering extensions for Hyper-V virtual switches. Microsoft recommends that administrators create full filtering extensions instead.

Now You:
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Will Microsoft remove Advanced Update options in Windows 10 1903 Pro?

The next feature update for Windows 10 will be released in the coming months. If things go as they look right now, Microsoft may remove advanced update options in the Pro edition of Windows 10 version 1903.
If you run Windows 10 Professional version 1809 right now, the current up-to-date version of the operating system, and check out the advanced update settings provided, you will notice options to defer feature and quality updates.
Feature updates can be deferred for up to 365 days and quality updates for 30 days right now. A quick check of the advanced update options on a PC running Windows 10 version 1903, an Insider Build, suggests that these options have been removed.
In fact, the only option that administrators get right now when they open Windows Update in the Settings application is to pause updates by up to seven days; this is the same time period that Microsoft plans to roll out in Windows 10 Home editions.
Below are two screenshots. The first shows the advanced options on a fully patched Windows 10 Pro version 1809 system, the second the advanced options on a recent Insider Build version of Windows 10 version 1903.
Windows 10 version 1809
Windows 10 version 1809 displays options to defer feature and quality updates, and to pause updates.
Microsoft introduced these options in the Fall Creators Update in 2017.
 
Windows 10 version 1903
Windows 10 version 1903 displays only one option to control when updates are downloaded and installed on the computer. The option to pause updates is displayed in Windows Update, the advanced options feature a selector to pick a specific day in that 7-day period.
In other words: the option to defer updates was removed from Windows Updates in the Settings app completely, the pause option limited to seven days instead of 30 days.
Microsoft did announce that it would get rid of the Semi Annual-Channel (Targeted) setting which deferred feature updates by about four months for business users.
Group Policy to the rescue

The removal in the Settings application does not mean that Microsoft removed the options from Pro versions entirely.
The Group Policy still lists options to defer and that is where administrators need to go in Windows 10 version 1903 to defer updates.

Open the Start menu.
Type gpedit.msc and hit the Enter-key; this opens the Group Policy Editor.
Go to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business

Select when Preview Builds and Feature Updates are received — gives you options to defer feature updates (or preview builds if you run Windows Insider versions).
Select when Quality Updates are received — gives you options to defer quality updates (the cumulative updates that Microsoft releases regularly).

Closing Words
It is unclear why Microsoft is making the change; even Woody is puzzled by this. It is quite possible that Microsoft wanted to sync the settings between Home and Pro editions of Windows 10. Could it have something to do with a recent study that claimed that Windows Update is too complicated?
At least some administrators will be puzzled when they don’t find the options anymore in the Settings application. Others may involuntarily install updates early because they may not know about the deferral options in the Group Policy or Registry, or third-party tools.
Now You: When do you install updates? What is your take on the change?
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Source: ghacks.net

Enable Retpoline on Windows 10 1809 and Server right now

Microsoft has tested Retpoline, a new mitigation method against Spectre variant 2 by Google, on Windows 10 Insider Builds for some time now. The company brought Retpoline to Windows 10 version 1809 by including it in the March 1 cumulative update KB4482887 for the version of Windows 10.
Tip: use the free InSpectre program for Windows check the vulnerability status.
Retpoline promises improved performance compared to the previous mitigation method used by Microsoft in its operating systems. Microsoft monitored the performance of Windows 10 systems and determined that Retpoline improved the launch time of Office applications by about 25% among other benefits.
When all relevant kernel-mode binaries are compiled with retpoline, we’ve measured ~25% speedup in Office app launch times and up to 1.5-2x improved throughput in the Diskspd (storage) and NTttcp (networking) benchmarks on Broadwell CPUs in our lab.
Retpoline is not enabled by default on production devices even though it is included in the March 1 update. Microsoft plans to roll out the mitigation over the course of the coming months.
Administrators who don’t want to wait can enable Retpoline right away provided that the devices run Windows 10 version 1809 and have the latest cumulative update installed.
Microsoft employee Mehmet Iyigun describes the process on the Tech Community site. Note that it is recommended that you back up the system and data before you apply the change.
Windows 10 Clients

Note: Microsoft did not enclose the Registry key path with “”. If you copy paste Microsoft’s command you will receive an error.

Open an elevated command prompt, e.g. by opening Start, typing cmd.exe, right-clicking on the result, and selecting run as administrator.
Run the following two commands:

reg add “HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management” /v FeatureSettingsOverride /t REG_DWORD /d 0x400

When prompted to overwrite the existing value, select Y for yes.

reg add “HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management” /v FeatureSettingsOverrideMask /t REG_DWORD /d 0x400

When prompted to overwrite the existing value, select Y for yes.

Restart the PC.

Alternative: use the following Registry file to make the change with a double-click on it:
Regpoline Windows 10 Client

Windows 10 Server

Open an elevated command prompt.
Run the following two commands:

reg add “HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management” /v FeatureSettingsOverride /t REG_DWORD /d 0x400
reg add “HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management” /v FeatureSettingsOverrideMask /t REG_DWORD /d 0x401

Restart the PC.

And here is the Registry file for Windows 10 Server versions:
Windows 10 Server Regpoline
Note that you can make the changes in the Registry editor directly as well if you prefer to do so.
Verification

You may use the Get-SpeculationControlSettings PowerShell cmdlet to verify the status of Retpoline. BTIKernelRetpolineEnabled and BTIKernelImportOptimizationEnabled should be returned as True in the output.
Microsoft notes that Skylake and newer generations of Intel processors are not compatible with Retpoline; these will only return BTIKernelImportOptimizationEnabled as enabled when the command is run.
Ghacks needs you. You can find out how to support us here or support the site directly by becoming a Patreon. Thank you for being a Ghacks reader. The post Enable Retpoline on Windows 10 1809 and Server right now appeared first on gHacks Technology News.
Source: ghacks.net