Microsoft is preparing to launch its March security update on Tuesday, with the company claiming that the latest release will address a number of key issues.

Two security bulletins will be released on Tuesday, one for Microsoft Windows and one for Microsoft Office, fixing eight issues in total which are all rated ‘important’ by the software giant.

The affected operating systems include Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 whilst various versions of Office, for both Windows and Mac, are also affected.

“We recommend that customers review the Advance Notification web page and prepare to deploy these bulletins as soon as possible,” said Jerry Bryant, senior security communications manager at Microsoft, in a blog post.

“To provide additional guidance for deployment prioritisation, customers should note that both bulletins will address issues that would require a user to open a specially crafted file. There are no network-based attack vectors.”

Bryant also reiterated that Microsoft will be cutting support for various versions of Windows XP, 2000 and Vista.

Windows XP SP2 will no longer be supported from July 13 2010, with those customers encouraged to upgrade to SP3 or Windows 7. Windows Vista RTM will not be supported after 13 July 2010, with support for Vista SP1 ending one year after that. SP2 will still be supported. Extended support for Windows 2000 will also be retired as of July 13, 2010, when the company will cease all updates for Windows 2000.

“A couple of months ago, I started including information about products that are reaching the end of their product lifecycle,” he added. “It is extremely important for customers to move to supported platforms because after the dates below, those products/service packs, will no longer receive security updates.”

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