January 14 is the big day. This blustery, windy, rainy, snowy or warm day (depending on where you are on the planet) will be host to this year’s first Patch Tuesday update.

And boy, is the package light as a feather this time around?

In what is quite possibly the jolliest patching cycle in recent memory, Redmond will release four security bulletins with the intention of fixing issues with Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Microsoft Word and SharePoint.

The mention of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 may have diverted your attention to the bothersome little zero-day flaw in these operating systems that has been used to attack systems around the globe. Newer versions of Windows are not affected by this PDF exploit, however.

Interestingly, the advanced notifications post for this cycle reveals that the four bulletins all come with the label ‘Important’ meaning, none of them are deemed crucially critical.

And this is a first for the software titan in many a months.

Also notable is the fact that Internet Explorer is missing from the list of software that are to be patched, making it another first for Redmond in quite a while.

Microsoft will also release a new compilation of the December Surface Pro 2 firmware that was pulled from circulation due to widespread issues, including installation and battery problems.

As is always the case, the Patch Tuesday updates will be delivered via the integrated Windows Update option, so if your computer or device has it turned on, then they will be automatically deployed. Specific details on everything that will be fixed should be with you once the updates go live next week.

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