Microsoft has released some details for its next Patch Tuesday - but hasn't included a fix for a widely publicised flaw in Word, which hackers are reportedly exploiting.

There will be five sets of patches for Windows and one critical security update for Visual Studio released next week, the software giant said. It added that it strives to publish a small number of updates in December, because IT operations are often short-staffed during the holiday season.

Microsoft announces five patches on Patch Tuesday

However there is no fix for the Word hole. Microsoft warned of a vulnerability in its Word word-processing software this week that had been reportedly used in online attacks. Security researchers have rated the flaw critical, because an attacker could exploit it to run malicious software on a victim's PC. For such an attack to work, however, the victim would first have to be tricked into opening a maliciously encoded Word file.