Microsoft has stepped outside its regular patching schedule to quietly release a patch that makes Internet Explorer 7's phishing filter run faster.

The update was made available last week on Microsoft's website, instead of in next Tuesday's regular patch, according to a blog entry in the IEBlog written by the IE team at Microsoft.

This update affects performance, not security, according to the post by IE program manager Steve Reynolds. When users navigate to a page with multiple frames, or where frames are being navigated simultaneously, the IE phishing filter, which attempts to block access to sites that may try to defraud web users, performas multiple simultaneous evaluations for the same page.

In addition to being available on Microsoft's website now, the company will also release the patch later this month for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Phishing filter performance is not the only complaint IE 7 users have had since the final version was released in October. Frequent crashes and other performance problems such as excessive memory consumption that results in slow page loads have been reported.