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Light Patch Slate Expected on Tuesday

IT pros may get a breather this Tuesday with Microsoft projecting just two "important" fixes in its upcoming security update for March.

The two important fixes will affect Windows and Microsoft Office and will have remote code execution considerations. This March patch release will mark the first time since July 2008 that no critical bulletins were included.

The first patch hits XP, Windows 7 and Vista operating systems. The second patch, for Office, will be more wide reaching, touching XP, Office 2003, 2007 Microsoft Office System and Office for Mac (both the 2004 and 2008 suites).

Microsoft described a few other products expected to get addressed with this patch, including Microsoft Office Excel Viewer, Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 file formats, plus Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Both of the patches in this month's rollout could require a restart.

Microsoft may just be tightening a few loose ends with this patch, although the company has been busy addressing other security issues in recent weeks.

For instance, at the RSA conference this week, Berend-Jan Wevera, a Google engineer presenting at the event, found a flaw in Redmond's data execution prevention function in Windows. Microsoft also noted a flaw in Windows involving VBScript and Internet Explorer. It reissued a Windows kernel patch from February after some users experienced "blue screen" problems on applying the original patch.

With a light patch cycle expected for March, IT administrators may find the time to catch up on nonsecurity releases delivered via Windows Update and Microsoft Update. Microsoft provides information about those releases in this Knowledge Base article.

About the Author

Jabulani Leffall is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the Financial Times of London, Investor's Business Daily, The Economist and CFO Magazine, among others.

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