Patch Tuesday is one of those Microsoft traditions that I suspect many administrators wish would quietly vanish into the ether, but until we’re all running cloud-based operating systems, it looks like it’s here to stay. Microsoft shows no signs of slowing down, either, with yesterday’s security updates containing a whopping 16 patches for 49 problems - numbers that analysts say set a new record. Here’s the scoop.

The security update itself is actually fairly typical - of those 49 problems getting addressed, only six are flagged as “critical,” and three updates address 34 vulnerabilities, according to the Microsoft Security Response Center. The patches span Microsoft Windows, IE, Office, and the .NET Framework.

Reuters says that this represents Microsoft’s biggest Patch Tuesday ever just in terms of problems addressed, topping the previous high of 34 that was set in October 2009 and matched in June and August 2010.

On the one hand, it’s good to fix gaping security holes -- amongst the security flaws addressed by this massive update is the infamous Stuxnet virus, which caused a commotion when it was realized it could be used to remote-control some power plants and other industrial infrastructure.

But on the other, MSPmentor wonders why we haven’t heard the SaaS vendor space capitalize on this massive patch - avoiding the huge downtimes and compatibility headaches caused by Patch Tuesday is a major selling point for cloud services. And while Google had their monthly App Tuesday event, they didn’t mention that Microsoft’s huge update at all, which seems like a missed opportunity for a PR maneuver.