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Microsoft’s February Patch Day will be a busy one for IT administrators.

The software giant on Thursday announced plans to release 13 security advisories on Feb. 8, including “critical” fixes for Microsoft Office, Windows Media Player and MSN Messenger.

Also expected is a cumulative patch to plug known vulnerabilities in the widely deployed Internet Explorer browser and updates for Microsoft SharePoint Services, Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual Studio.

In all, Microsoft Corp. plans to release nine bulletins affecting products that ship with the Microsoft Windows operating system. This will include a planned fix for Internet Explorer.

A separate advisory affecting Microsoft Windows, Windows Media Player and MSN Messenger also will be released with patches. The maximum severity rating for this patch is “critical,” Microsoft said.

The bulletin with patches for Microsoft Office and Visual Studio also carries a “critical” rating, while patches for Microsoft SharePoint Services will be released with “moderate” severity ratings.

The company also plans to issue an “important” fix for bugs in its .NET Framework.

It is not yet known whether a promised update to tweak the way Windows Media Player handles the download of DRM (digital rights management) licenses will be released next Tuesday.

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