It's Tuesday and for Microsoft that means its massive installed base of Windows users are going to receive several security updates, fixing potential exploits and patching holes before they become problems.

Known as Patch Tuesday, Microsoft pushed out 3 fixes to the masses, one closing up a critical vulnerability in its Windows Internet Name Service (WINS).

According to the security bulletin MS11035, without the patch specially crafted code -- or malware -- could enter and run whatever it wants, putting users at risk for lost data and compromised computer systems.

Microsoft urged network administrators to patch the WINS vulnerability as soon as possible.

The other update, dubbed MS11-036, patches a pair of bugs in PowerPoint, the presentation manager included with Microsoft's Office suite.

One of the vulnerabilities affects Office XP, Office 2003 and Office 2007 on Windows, Office for Mac 2004 and Office for Mac 2008. The second impacts only Office XP and Office 2003.

Neither of the bugs exists within the newest versions, Office 2010 on Windows or Office for Mac 2011.

Microsoft also changed its Exploitability Index, the guide it uses to provide customers information on how likely a vulnerability is of being exploited.

The company will be publishing two ratings per vulnerability, one for the most recent platform and a second as an aggregate rating for all older versions of the software.