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Microsoft readies critical software patches

Eight security alerts coming next week

Microsoft on Tuesday plans to issue eight security alerts with patches, some critical, for Windows, Office, MSN Messenger and Exchange.

Five of the security bulletins apply to Windows and at least one of those is deemed critical, Microsoft says in a notice posted to its website. Office, MSN Messenger and Exchange will get one bulletin each, all deemed critical, the company says.

In Microsoft's rating system for security issues, vulnerabilities that could allow a malicious internet worm to spread without any action required on the part of the user are rated critical.

Microsoft gave no further information, other than that some of the patches for Windows will require restarting patched computers, as may the MSN Messenger patch. The fixes for Office and Exchange will not require users to restart the applications.

The software maker provides information in advance of its monthly patch release day, every second Tuesday of the month, so users can prepare. Last month Microsoft did not release any patches, after a dozen security bulletins in February.

In addition to the patches, Microsoft also plans to release an updated version of the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool and two "high priority" updates for Windows that are not related to security issues, the company says.

The Malicious Software Removal Tool detects and removes malicious code placed on computers.


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