Since the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities were discovered earlier this year, software companies had no other choice to rush and quickly release patches to mitigate the hardware flaws on Intel’s processors. Unfortunately, for devices, this resulted in significant performance impact, up to 30 percent on some workloads, and severe network slowdowns for many companies.
However, Google was perhaps the only company that didn’t seem to significantly be impacted. This is because the company developed “Retpoline,” a different solution to deal with the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities that doesn’t affect performance.
Starting with Windows 10 version 1903 (19H1), Microsoft is expected (via Neowin) to use the same Retpoline solution to revert the effects of the security vulnerabilities caused by flaws on Intel processors.
If you’re a participant of the Windows Insider Program, the latest preview of Windows 10 already includes the Retpoline solution implemented.
Yes, we have enabled retpoline by default in our 19H1 flights along with what we call "import optimization" to further reduce perf impact due to indirect calls in kernel-mode. Combined, these reduce the perf impact of Spectre v2 mitigations to noise-level for most scenarios. https://t.co/CPlYeryV9K
— Mehmet Iyigun (@mamyun) October 18, 2018
And it looks promising, as Microsoft’s engineer, Mehmet Lyigun, explains that enabling Retpoline users will notice a significant boost in performance to almost identical as the performance before the Spectre and Meltdown.