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Microsoft to patch critical Windows, Office flaws

The software giant plans to release seven security bulletins Tuesday: four for Windows and three for Office. Some of the patches will fix critical flaws.

After getting 13 security updates for flaws in a variety of Microsoft programs last month, IT administrators might have been hoping for a lighter patch load for July.

If so, they're in for an unpleasant surprise.

The software giant announced on its TechNet site Thursday that customers can expect seven security bulletins this month: four for Microsoft Windows and three for Microsoft Office. Some fixes will address critical security holes, the vendor said.

Windows patches will be available via the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and Enterprise Scan Tool, and some updates will require a restart. Office patches will be available via the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer and the updates may require a restart.

As it does every month, Microsoft will also release an updated version of its Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool and will host a Webcast Wednesday to address any questions IT administrators have regarding this month's updates. The company will also release one non-security, high-priority update Tuesday.

"Although we do not anticipate any changes, the number of bulletins, products affected, restart information and severities are subject to change until released," Microsoft said.

It's unclear if any of this month's patches will address some of the flaws that have come to light since Microsoft's June 13 patch release. Since then:

  • Several new Internet Explorer flaws have been targeted with exploit code.

  • Cupertino, Calif.-based antivirus giant Symantec Corp. has warned of proof-of-concept code targeting a security hole in Microsoft Windows Live Messenger, the instant messaging client formerly called MSN Messenger.

  • Zero-day flaws in Microsoft Excel have been targeted with exploit code.

    Last month's patch release addressed flaws in Windows, Internet Explorer, Exchange, Media Player, PowerPoint and Word.

  • Dig Deeper on Microsoft Patch Tuesday and patch management

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