Microsoft will release nine sets of security patches next week, including six critical updates for Windows, Office, Internet Explorer and its Visual Basic development software.

The updates will come as part of Microsoft's regular monthly security patch process.

Less-serious updates are also being readied for Windows, Windows Vista, and Microsoft's Virtual PC and Virtual Server software, Microsoft said in a note on the upcoming patches.

With nine sets of patches, August will be a busy month for system administrators. Microsoft released just six updates in July, and has averaged around seven updates per month this year.