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Microsoft plans to patch critical under-attack IE bug next week

Gregg Keizer | March 7, 2014
Will ship four updates for Windows XP in second-to-last round of patches for the aged OS.

Microsoft has invested significant messaging resources in urging customers to abandon XP for a newer OS, including a misguided appeal to the more technically-astute to help friends and family ditch XP.

So far, the Redmond, Wash. company's efforts have not paid off as it had hoped: Metrics company Net Applications said earlier this week that XP powered 29.5% of the world's personal computers in February.

The two remaining Windows updates were rated important by Microsoft, which said that one could be used by hackers to obtain additional access rights while the other could be exploited to bypass an unnamed security feature or technology within the operating system.

The fifth update, also judged important, will patch Silverlight 5, a Microsoft-made framework that once tried to take on Adobe Flash in the market and on the Web.

Silverlight 5 is the most-recent version of the framework and its multimedia player plug-in, released in late 2011. Microsoft has committed to supporting Silverlight through 2021, but has stopped further development on the technology, which remains important on Windows Phone if little else.

Microsoft will release next week's security updates on March 11 around 1 p.m. ET.


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