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Microsoft takes security patch hiatus

Company skips this month's installment of its regularly scheduled patch release cycle, but issues update to its threat removal tool.

Microsoft issued on Tuesday an update to its threat removal tool and announced plans to forgo this month's installment of its regularly scheduled patch release cycle.

The software giant, which previously noted it would skip the March patch day, will nonetheless offer its regular monthly technical Webcast on security issues Wednesday.

Microsoft is rolling out its third monthly edition of its Windows Malicious Software Removal tool. The update includes the ability to remove viruses and other "malware"--malicious software--such as Bagle, Bropia, Sober, Sobig, Gowen and Gaobot variants and versions of MyDoom. The tool will also feature changes to its interface, such as a download-progress bar.

Microsoft said it's skipping the patch release date for March because it's conducting further tests on the fixes.

"Occasionally the testing process and our strict focus on quality can result in a month where no security updates are released, as is the case today," the company said.

Last month, Microsoft issued a dozen updates, eight of which were rated "critical."