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Patch Tuesday is a name used to refer to the second Tuesday of each month, when Microsoft releases fixes for known bugs in the Windows operating system and its related applications. Patch Tuesday was introduced by Microsoft in 2003 as a way of simplifying patch management. Scheduling patch release allows system administrators to plan for the day and install several patches with a single reboot. While Patch Tuesday is reserved for standard bug patches, critical code fixes can be sent out at any time.
Administrators sometimes refer to Patch Tuesday as Black Tuesday.
Although Patch Tuesday is designed to simplify patch management, sometimes the number of patches released on that one day can be overwhelming if any of them cause system problems. When a number of computers that are connected to the Internet all reboot within a certain period of time, this can also strain a network and lead to outages.
Critics of Patch Tuesday also contend that it provides opportunities for hackers, particularly when a security hole has been announced to the public. Because of Patch Tuesday, hackers will know how long they have to exploit the vulnerability before it is repaired.This phenomenon spawned the creation of a related term, Exploit Wednesday, to refer to the day when hackers get to work on unpatched vulnerabilities in Windows.