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Microsoft to release a new batch of ‘critical’ Windows XP security updates tomorrow

Do you hear that, Windows XP users? It’s the final countdown.

The final countdown for the end of Microsoft’s support for the aged operating system that is. With the end of support date less than a month away (April 8), Microsoft is still honoring its commitment to plug security holes in Windows XP.

Tomorrow is Patch Tuesday, and Microsoft is set to release a fresh batch that the company rates as either “important” or “critical.” These updates will apply to both Windows XP Professional x64 Edition Service Pack 2, as well as Windows XP Service Pack 3. One of the patches that will be made available for download will address the zero-day security hole discovered in Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10 that Microsoft described as a “remote code execution vulnerability,” which they issued a quick “Fix-it” patch for after its discovery.

For the record, Microsoft describes an “important” update as one that patches a “vulnerability whose exploitation could result in compromise of the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of user data, or of the integrity or availability of processing resources.” Meanwhile, Redmond’s definition of a “critical” update is one that plugs a “vulnerability whose exploitation could allow code execution without user interaction. These scenarios include self-propagating malware (e.g. network worms), or unavoidable common use scenarios where code execution occurs without warnings or prompts.” You can read up on Microsoft’s Security Bulletin Severity Rating System here.

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