Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update downs Chrome, Cortana

Redmond, Google and Intel are desperately hunting for a fix

Windows 10 by Anton Watman, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft says it's looking into reports that apps including "Hey Cortana" and Google Chrome hang or freeze for those who have installed the recent Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

The company suggests trying the Windows logo key + Ctrl + Shift + B to wake the screen or, for laptop users, opening and closing device lid, in an attempt to resolve the issue.

It's not immediately clear where the bug is hiding but developers from Microsoft, Google, and Intel are looking into it.

In a Chromium bug report thread – Chromium being the open source project behind Chrome – Yang Gu, a developer for Intel, suggests the problem is limited to those using the latest Windows 10 (version 1803) with Intel Kabylake (HD 620 and 630) chips.

In addition to Chrome misbehavior, there are also reports that Electron apps like Slack, which rely on an embedded version of Chromium, are crashing. Also, several users have reported Firefox problems after the Windows 10 update as well.

This has led to speculation that the bug may have something to do with how Windows interacts with ANGLE, a Google-developed graphics engine abstraction layer used by Chrome and Firefox to run WebGL content on Windows devices by translating OpenGL calls to Direct3D.

Those investigating the issue have observed that crashes no longer occur when the --disable-direct-composition flag is set. They also report that the problem isn't present in the latest Canary build of Chrome.

Turning off hardware acceleration in Chrome fixes the issue for some.

Microsoft says it hopes to have a fix ready for its next scheduled update on May 8. ®

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