As promised, Microsoft did not unveil any security fixes Tuesday. But it did push out several other patches it deemed "high priority," including two for Windows Vista.
The last time Microsoft went a month without releasing security fixes was September 2005.
Among the four updates Microsoft defined as "non-security, high-priority"were the usual monthly revamp of the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool and new signatures for the antispam filters.
One Vista-specific update was also on the list, as was another that affected both XP and Vista.
The first, dubbed "March 2007 Windows Vista Application Compatibility Update, added compatibility "shims" - code that makes an application think it's actually running on a pre-Vista PC - for older Windows titles, including Trend Micro's Internet Security, Windows Server 2003 (SP1) Administration Tools Pack and RealNetworks' RealPlayer 6.0.12.
The second was another revision to the Windows Media Format 11 SDK (software developer's kit) code. In the associated support document, Microsoft said that the update corrected a problem that some portable music players had in synchronizing data with subscription services.
Microsoft's official explanation for the lack of monthly security patches was that while, the company “continues to investigate potential and existing vulnerabilities," quality of its releases was vital. "All updates need to meet testing standards in order to be released, the company added.
"This could be what they're dealing with, or the patches are just more complicated than usual," said Minoo Hamilton, senior security researcher with patch management compnay nCircle Network Security, said, "Obviously, they take patch quality very seriously now. Maybe they just feel that the bar is so much higher"
The updates were made available via the consumer-oriented Microsoft Update and Windows Update services, and the enterprise-oriented Software Update Services (SUS) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).