Microsoft is preparing eight patches - six of which cover critical vulnerabilities - for next Tuesday as part the last edition this year of its monthly Patch Tuesday update cycle.
The critical updates cover separate vulnerabilities involving Word and Excel as well a duo of vulnerabilities involving various flavours of Windows and a cumulative patch for Internet Explorer. A critical update for Visual Basic completes the sextet.
One of the two critical Windows updates is applicable only to Vista and Windows 2008. There's speculation that the other - a fix for Win 200 and XP - involves a bug known about since April and actively exploited since late October.