Microsoft to issue four patches for Windows and Office

A light Patch Tuesday coming next week

Microsoft next week will release three patches to fix security holes in all recent versions of Windows desktop and server software and a fourth patch to fix a problem in Office.

The most serious patch will come in a critical update that resolves a security hole allowing remote code execution in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

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Two more Windows patches are rated only as "important," and fix elevation-of-privilege holes in Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7.

The one patch for Office is rated as important and affects only Microsoft Visio 2003 Service Pack 3.

The patch list is quite a bit shorter than last month's haul, which featured 16 updates including 9 critical ones. Microsoft typically alternates between light and heavy loads in its monthly patch releases, so this is not unexpected.

After today's advance bulletin was released, security analyst Paul Henry of Lumension released a short commentary stating: "While this Patch Tuesday may appear insignificant with just 4 patches (a quarter of what we saw last month), the reality is that it will be rather disruptive, as all the patches impact Windows and Office and require a restart."

Full details of the vulnerabilities and fixes will be released Tuesday.  

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