No new service pack for Win XP until late next year

Tuesday, 19 August 2003, 3:40 PM EST

Microsoft won't release a second service pack for Windows XP until the second half of next year, giving users more responsibility for applying individual patches and updates.

Service packs roll in all the security fixes and driver updates issued since the release of a product or of a previous service pack. They are meant for customers who don't apply all the updates as they are released, because they prefer to do maintenance on their own schedule or because they are too lazy or busy to keep up with the stream of updates.

Windows XP was released in October 2001. Service Pack 1 followed less than a year later on Sept. 4, 2002. Despite several high-profile security vulnerabilities, Microsoft is leaving a two-year gap between the first and the second service pack, which is planned for the third quarter of 2004, the company said in a road map posted online Friday.

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