Microsoft has released a bumper batches of 12 security updates - eight of them critical - as part of its regular Patch Tuesday update cycle.
The security patches address various critical vulnerabilities involving Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer, Media Player, Word, and PowerPoint that create a means for hackers to compromise vulnerable systems, run malicious code, or crash Windows PCs.
Put simply, all Windows users, unless they're running Windows 95 in an underground Siberian bunker without access to the net, are going to need to update their systems.
Among these patches is a much anticipated fix for the zero-day vulnerability in Microsoft Word, which became the target of hacking attacks last month. There's also a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer, designed to fix four critical vulnerabilities affecting IE 5.0 and 6.0 on Windows 2000 and Windows XP/Windows Server 2003.