Updated Thursday, Jan. 3 at 4:55 p.m.
Microsoft next week is expected to release just one patch to correct “critical” security vulnerabilities.
The bulletin affects a variety of operating system versions, including Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 service packs 1 and 2, Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows 2000 Service Pack 4, according to the company's advance notification.
Microsoft on Tuesday also plans to deliver one “important” fix that will affect the same software as the critical bug, except Vista.
The light patch cycle to start the year also is expected to include the release of an updated version of the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool on Windows Update, Microsoft Update, Windows Server Update Services and the Download Center.
Also, the software giant is planning five non-security, high-priority updates for Microsoft Update and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and two such updates for Windows on Windows Update and WSUS.
Microsoft delivered seven patches in December, including three to address critical vulnerabilities, which typically refer to holes that can be remotely exploited to take complete control of an affected system.