After handling 19 sets of patches in July and August, system administrators will have a bit of a break next week, when Microsoft is expected to release just three security updates for its Windows and Office products.

Yesterday Microsoft said only one of these updates, for Office, is rated as 'critical'. The updates will be released on Tuesday in line with Microsoft's monthly patch-release schedule. Microsoft's advance notification on the updates can be found here.

The other two updates, which fix problems with Windows, are rated no higher than 'important', meaning that user action would be required before an attack based on these flaws could succeed.

As usual, Microsoft did not release any further details on the patches. That information will be divulged when the patches are made available next Tuesday.

But the company may be planning to patch a recently reported flaw in its Word 2000 software. Earlier this week Symantec warned that the flaw was being exploited by attackers to run unauthorised software on a victim's computer.