Microsoft is planning a huge end-of-year patch to fix flaws in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, SharePoint and Exchange.

The company said in a security patch advance notification that all but one of the 17 updates are rated 'important' or 'critical'.

This has been the busiest year ever for Microsoft's flaw fixing team, which has issued a total of 106 software bulletins since January.

"Microsoft's primary focus is to release reliable, high-quality updates to our customers," said Mike Reavey, a director at Microsoft's Security Response Center, in a blog post.

"Feedback from customers indicates that this is the most important factor in minimising disruption and allowing them to deploy our updates quickly - even more important than the overall number of security updates."

Ten of the flaws allow remote code execution within Microsoft applications, and all flaws may require a restart, adding to the burden on IT managers.