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Microsoft adds critical IE, XP fixes to Tuesday's patch slate

Gregg Keizer | Feb. 11, 2014
Microsoft on Monday unexpectedly added two more critical security updates to the list it will deliver tomorrow, including one for all versions of Internet Explorer and another for the soon-to-be-retired Windows XP.

The VBScript update will affect all versions of Windows, but was rated critical on the client editions such as Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. On the server side, it was tagged as "moderate," two steps below critical on Microsoft's four-level scoring system.

The new Bulletin 2 means that there will be a critical update for Windows XP tomorrow. That's notable because Microsoft plans to stop publicly patching the nearly-13-year-old operating system after April 8.

Storms believes the IE and VBScript updates are connected.

"I suspect the IE and VBScript [updates] are related, because they may have both been delayed together in their testing," Storms said. "Maybe it's just a coincidence. But two bulletins released at the last minute? That seems related in some way to me."

As Storms pointed out, it's rare that Microsoft adds updates at the last minute, although the company has done the opposite a handful of times, yanking one or more just before Patch Tuesday because its engineers found a glitch.

"I suppose this is better than proactively putting them in the [advanced notification] and then having to pull them a few days later," Storms said.

Microsoft will release this month's security updates on Tuesday around 1 p.m. ET.


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