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Record Patch Tuesday with 17-bulletin bumper crop

Strap in: it's likely to be a bumpy ride

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Microsoft is lining up a record equaling 17 security bulletins, nine rated critical and eight classified as important, as part of the April edition of its monthly Patch Tuesday updates.

The 12 April security update batch will collectively address 64 security vulnerabilities. Bugs in Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Visual Studio, and .NET Framework will all be patched.

Upcoming features will include a critical SMB Browser bug that affects all versions of Windows. Security vulnerability scanning firm Qualys warns that all supported versions of Office and Windows will need updating, a task that is likely to result in plenty of overtime for sysadmins.

"This is a huge update and system administrators should plan for deployment as all Windows systems including Server 2008 and Windows 7 are affected by critical bulletins," said Amol Sarwate, manager of the Vulnerability Research Lab at Qualys. "Frequently used office applications like Excel 2003 through 2010 and PowerPoint 2002 through 2010 are also affected."

Redmond also released 17 bulletins in December 2010 but these addressed a total of 40 flaws, and only two of the end-of-year-patch were deemed critical. The April edition is therefore a bigger deal than the December Patch batch and far in excess of the standard fare for Black Tuesday, which probably approximates at three to four bulletins a month.

Microsoft's heads-up for the upcoming carnage – we hope we're wrong on that but you can't help but worry with so many moving parts flying together at one time – can be found here. ®

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