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11/4/2005
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Microsoft To Release Just One Patch Tuesday

But it'll be rated as "critical," so Microsoft says you should be sure to install it right away.

Microsoft will release one critical security bulletin next Tuesday, Nov. 8, in its monthly patch program, the company said Thursday.

The bulletin, which by Microsoft's numbering system will be dubbed "MS05-053," affects Windows, said the developer's advance notification posted on the Microsoft site.

"The maximum total severity rating for this month is Critical, so please update systems as soon as possible when the bulletin is available this coming Tuesday," wrote Stephen Toulouse, the head of Microsoft's Security Response Center (MSRC), on the group's blog Thursday.

Other than that, Microsoft was mum, but according to vulnerability researchers at eEye Digital Security, there are currently at least eight flaws in Windows that have not been fixed, including ones reported to the Redmond, Wash.-based developer as long ago as March 29, 2005.

Microsoft also said that on Tuesday it would release a pair of high-priority, but non-security-related updates to Windows, as well as reissue its Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

If November's patch schedule goes according to plan, it will be a dramatic drop-off from the nine security bulletins rolled out in October; those bulletins fixed a total of 14 vulnerabilities.

It might also give MSRC a chance to catch its breath. Since the October bulletins' release, the security center has notified users that one patch broke some Web sites when viewed with Internet Explorer, clarified one Windows 2000 patch, and explained why another was buggy.

As is usual, Microsoft will host a follow-up Webcast next week, Nov. 9, to answer questions about the fixes.

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