Microsoft has quietly released a patch aimed at improving the performance of Internet Explorer 7's phishing filter ahead of the company's regular patching schedule, which occurs on the Tuesday of every month.

The update was made available last week on on Microsoft's Web site, according to a blog entry on IEBlog, which is written by the IE team at Microsoft.

This update addresses an issue some users experience when navigating to a page with multiple frames, or where frames are being navigated simultaneously, according to the post by IE Program Manager Steve Reynolds. This kind of navigation occurs when the IE phishing filter, which attempts to block access to sites that may try to defraud Web users, evaluates a Web page when a user navigates to it. The result is multiple simultaneous evaluations for the same page, Reynolds wrote in his post.

In addition to being available on Microsoft's Web site now, the company also will release the patch later this month for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

Phishing filter performance is not the only complaint IE 7 users have had since the final version was released in October. Frequent crashes and other performance problems such as excessive memory consumption that results in slow page loads have been reported.