updated 1/10/2006 5:39:24 PM ET 2006-01-10T22:39:24

Microsoft Corp. released two patches Tuesday that carry its maximum rating of critical, to fix software problems that could allow an attacker to take control of another person's computer.

Microsoft said one patch is to fix a flaw in Windows desktop and server software that could let an attacker gain control of an Internet-connected computer if a user were tricked into visiting a malicious Web site. The fix is for operating systems dating back to Windows 2000. The other patch is to fix a flaw in the part of Microsoft's Office business software and Exchange Server software that lets users change and manage language preferences. The fix is for versions of the software dating back to Office 2000.

The patches, released Tuesday as part of Microsoft's regular monthly security update, follow the release last week of another critical fix for a flaw in an element of Windows that is used to view images. The patches can be downloaded from Microsoft's Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/security

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