Windows XP Service Pack 2 Beta first look

Tuesday, 6 January 2004, 1:36 AM EST

If there is one thing Microsoft is preoccupied with right now, it would have to be security. Microsoft is in the news more for security problems with Windows (whether fairly or not) than any other issue. With other operating systems such as Mac OS X (Panther) and Linux (Kernel 2.6) getting significant updates, some are wondering, what Microsoft is up to? A few months ago, developers were given a preview to Microsoft Windows Longhorn. Longhorn is still at least two years away, leaving the rest of us who use the currently-available Windows XP wondering what the next big XP update will hold.

Microsoft has taken the wraps off of Service Pack 2 for Windows XP. At first thought, one might think "big deal Service Packs from Microsoft are generally bug squashers." Things are different this time. Service Pack 2 addresses security concerns, fixes previous security issues, and implements new security features. In case you are slow on the uptake, Windows XP Service Pack 2 is all about security.

Slated for release in Summer 2004, SP2 weighs in at a hefty 222MB (which includes debug symbols) in its beta form.

By Kurt Hutchinson at Ars Technica.

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