updated 11/5/2004 6:14:06 PM ET 2004-11-05T23:14:06

Criticized for a program that only provided some of its largest customers with warnings on security problems in its products, Microsoft Corp. now says it will give all computer users early word on such issues.

Beginning this month, the Redmond software giant will make public in advance how many security fixes it plans to release in its regular monthly bulletin, how severe the problems are and what products are affected.

Microsoft typically releases security patches on the second Tuesday of each month, with the early warnings posted on its security Web site the previous Thursday.

Beginning in December, Microsoft also will let people sign up to receive e-mail notifications.

(MSNBC is a Microsoft - NBC joint venture.)

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