Microsoft hopes to be ready when hundreds of thousands of computers infected with the MSBlast worm start pelting its Windows Update service with data requests on midnight Friday.

The company has taken steps to try to dodge the denial-of-service attack, but it's also begun educating Windows users about other ways to get updates and patches in the event that the update service is made unavailable.

Speaking of which, it's known already that a new variant of the Blaster worm is making the rounds, according to programmers, the original worm was not too smart on the way it propagated. If you haven't patched your PC yet, here's some info to give you a hand.