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Windows 8, RT to receive more critical patches next Tuesday

Next week's Patch Tuesday will deliver more bugs fixes to Windows 8 and its RT cousin.

Windows 8 and RT are set to receive their second lineup of bug fixes when next week's Patch Tuesday rolls around.

The patches are also aimed at the other current versions of Windows, including XP, Vista, and Windows 7, as well as Server 2003 and 2008.

Five of the patches are rated critical, while two are deemed important. The critical ones are designed to shore up holes in the OS that could allow an attacker to infect a PC with malicious code.

Assuming Windows Update is set to automatic, critical patches are automatically installed, while those considered important can be manually installed by the user if needed.

This month will mark the first time that many Windows RT users will see a security update, according to Wolfgang Kandek, chief technology officer of security provider Qualys. "And it will be interesting to see how they react and what the uptake of the patches will be," he added.

Microsoft did roll out the first bug fixes for Windows 8 and RT as part of November's Patch Tuesday. But at that point, Windows RT tablets had only just hit the market a couple of weeks prior.

Windows PC users are accustomed to the regular patch rollouts. But owners of the iPad and Android tablets don't have to deal with monthly security updates. So, this could be a new fact of life for Windows RT users who don't realize that the OS needs to be patched periodically, even on a tablet.

Still, as long as automatic updates are enabled, I think most of them will be able to weather the storm without too much difficulty.

Internet Explorer 10 will also get its first security fix next Tuesday. Deemed critical, the patch plugs holes that could leave the PC vulnerable to certain malware and also applies to earlier versions of the browser, from IE6 through IE9.