Win2k service pack 1 goes into beta
All 190 yummie megs of it...
Microsoft has posted a beta of Windows 2000 Service Pack 1, according to Paul Thurrott of WinInfo. It's only available to Universal and Professional MSDN members, via the MSDN Subscriber Downloads site, and Paul reports that it's a chunky 190 megabytes, so don't all rush at once.
The size and the territory covered suggests that SP1 is, as we suggested a while back, pretty closely synced in with development of next year's model, Whistler, which will effectively be Win2k 1.1. Last time, we heard Whistler was due for public beta in July, which makes it something of a Win2k bugfix in its own right.
The close relationship is sort of good news and bad news, the good being that it'll tend to make it easier to clean up both OSes, the bad being that it'll probably mean the shipping SP1 will be excessively large, and that Microsoft will find it difficult to stay good. The company has been telling its customers that it's going to separate bugfixing service packs from updates and new features, but the notes for the SP1 beta suggest it's already starting to wobble.
SP1 is a collection of "fixes and updates," but of course updates can blur horribly into what some people might call new features. It provides fixes for data loss and corruption, access violations and memory loss issues. It also improves setup, including cleaning up Windows File Protection (WFP) so that protected system files are updated properly with new SP1 versions. You'll also be able to slipstream SP1 install into a new installation, making it easier to set up new machines, and at last the system will be sufficiently aware of its service state for it not to be necessary to re-apply the service pack after a system state change.
This is a sensible thing Microsoft should have done years ago. Paul also reports that it includes a new "Terminal Services Advanced Client" featuring a Web-embeddable ActiveX version, which sounds dangerously close to a new feature to us. ®
Full details over at WinInfo