Microsoft plans to release eight sets of security patches next Tuesday [9 January], addressing flaws in its Windows, Office, and Visual Studio products.

Microsoft will release three updates each for Windows and Office, the company said yesterday in a statement. The most serious of flaws being patched are rated critical, meaning they could be exploited to run malicious software on a PC with no action on the part of the victim.

Two other updates are also planned for Tuesday, both of which have been given the less-serious "important" rating. The first is for Windows and Visual Studio; the second affects both Windows and Office.

Microsoft traditionally releases its security updates on the second Tuesday of every month, a day known as "patch Tuesday" to system administrators.

Last month, Microsoft released seven updates on patch Tuesday, fixing 11 bugs.