Microsoft on Tuesday released its monthly round of security patches, fixing a number of widely reported bugs in its Excel and Office products.The July security updates include seven sets of patches. Four of the updates address bugs in the Windows operating system, while the other three fix problems in Office and Excel. More information on the updates can be found here.All of the Office and Excel fixes, as well as two of the Windows updates, are rated as critical by Microsoft, meaning that an attacker could theoretically take advantage of the flaws to run unauthorized code on a victim\u2019s PC.The two critical Windows updates are for users of the Windows Server 2003, Windows XP and Windows 2000 operating systems. They fix vulnerabilities in Windows\u2019 Server service and in its dynamic host configuration protocol client service.The Excel patches, which are described in the MS06-037 bulletin, are considered to be critical for users of Microsoft\u2019s Excel 2000 spreadsheet and are rated "important" for other Excel users, Microsoft said.The two Office updates are considered critical for Office 2000 and Project 2000 users.Over the past month, Microsoft has investigated a number of issues related to Excel and Office, following reports that hackers had launched a targeted attack against an unnamed government contractor, taking advantage of a bug in its Excel spreadsheet software. The seven patches will keep administrators busy, although not so busy as in June. Last month, Microsoft released 12 security updates. \u2014 Robert McMillan, IDG News Service (San Francisco Bureau)Related Links:\n\nThird Microsoft Excel Attack Identified\n\nCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.