The critical count is slashed in half this month. When Redmond detailed July’s Patch Tuesday updates, six out of seven bulletins were listed as critical. This time around, though, the amount of critical updates comes in at three.

Microsoft just posted a summary of its planned security patches for August, and the software titan will release a total of eight security bulletins this month.

One of the critical patches covers pretty much all of the current versions of its Windows operating systems — including Windows 8 and Windows RT. This particular patch deals with an issue that affects all versions of Internet Explorer that run on these systems.

Another critical security bulletin only affects two older operating systems, namely Windows XP Service Pack 3 and Windows Server 2003 Server Pack 2. The last of the critical patch is supposed to take care of an issue in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, 2010 and 2013.

All of the remaining security patches carry an important label, and again affect nearly all versions of Windows that are currently supported.

Of particular note for IT administrators amongst you, several of these patches will require a restart of the computer.

As is usually the case, today’s advance notice does not go into specifics behind these updates, so as not to inform hackers and cybercriminals before they are released next week.

The updates are slated to go live around or after 1 PM Eastern time on Tuesday, August 13.

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