With yesterday's Patch Tuesday security fixes, Microsoft has also rolled out an update to the Windows Analytics service that will help businesses with the process of patching the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.
Windows Analytics is a free tool that Microsoft offers to businesses, and that can provide an in-depth summary of a company's internal fleet of computers.
The tool is not well known but has gained notoriety among system administrators who manage large networks of hundreds or thousands of computers.
The new Windows Analytics updates come to aid sysadmins still struggling with understanding the complex process of patching the Meltdown and Spectre security bugs revealed at the start of the year and that impact a large number of CPU models released in the past two decades.
The complicated process of patching Meltdown and Spectre requires an OS update, BIOS/firmware updates, and in some cases the presence of a special registry key, which if missing might block future Windows security updates.
The whole process is a mess, and it's quite hard to keep track of it on a small network, let alone a big company with a large PC fleet.
According to a blog post by Microsoft head honcho Terry Myerson, Windows Analytics has now been updated to show the status of Meltdown and Spectre patches.
Starting yesterday, Windows Analytics will not only show the status of computers that run Windows OS Meltdown and Spectre patches but also those that received BIOS/firmware updates.
Furthermore, Windows Analytics will also report on the status of that mysterious registry key that computers running a custom antivirus software will need to have.
Windows Analytics may not be used to patch such systems from a central location —other tools are available for that— but will help system administrators track down non-patched systems.
Below is an image of Windows Analytics' new Meltdown and Spectre patch status section.