Microsoft has notified customers that 13 security bulletins are in the works for its next patch release, including a fix for Windows vulnerabilities tagged as critical, and one for its IM service Windows Messenger.

The fixes are slated to be released on Tuesday, Feb. 8 as part of Microsoft's monthly patch cycle.

Microsoft said that nine of the security bulletins affect Windows, with the maximum severity rating listed as critical.

A fix is also in the works for its Office and Studio products, and an update for Microsoft's .NET Framework is for a vulnerability that is rated important.

Fixes are also planned for Windows Media Player and MSN Messenger. The greatest aggregate, maximum severity rating for these security updates is critical, the company said in a note. In addition, the list could change prior to the final release on Tuesday.

As previously reported by internetnews.com, Anti-Virus and security vendor Panda Labs recently noted the discovery of a threat that takes advantage of Windows Digital Rights Management.

The company warned that one of two Trojans, Trj/WmvDownloader.A or Trj/WmvDownloader.B, could be placed inside of Windows Media format (.wmv) video files by malicious users and executed when the user opens the files with the latest Windows Media Player 10 update, which is part of Windows XP SP2.

Security firm Secunia also lists advisories regarding Microsoft Windows XP Professional that are patched and unpatched.

Microsoft also said it would host a Webcast next week to address customer questions on these bulletins.

Updates prior version to clarify Tuesday, Feb. 8th