Feeds

XP SP2 stalls at starting gate

Under starter's orders but not away

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Yesterday saw a further minor delay in the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2, the most significant revision of the Windows code base since its launch in 2001. Microsoft originally said it planned to release Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) to manufacturers on Wednesday. That didn't happen. Microsoft is now saying the release of SP2 is "imminent".

It's unclear why the release of SP2 has stalled at the starting gate but whatever the reasons its small beer compared to a series of previous delays that has repeatedly pushed the launch of much anticipated update further and further into the future. SP2 was originally due "sometime in 2003" until last August, when managers decided to knock it back to this year.

Microsoft has repeatedly said that its more interested in getting the release right, introducing further testing rounds if necessary, than meeting unofficial deadlines for SP2. The release, which made its debut as a beta back in March, bundles major security revisions and a new Windows update procedure.

Principal additions with Windows XP SP2 include: Windows Security Centre; automatically turning on Windows Firewall; and browsing enhancements to Internet Explorer (providing far more control of ActiveX controls, for example). Less mentioned so far, but arguably more important, is revamped memory protection to prevent buffer overruns, the perennial source of so many security problems. The Service Pack will also add a pop-up ad blocker to Internet Explorer - the most requested feature according to Microsoft - and a download manager.

Latest reports suggest SP2 for Windows XP Home Edition will weigh in at 70MB with the XP Pro update tipping the scales at 92MB.

XP2 is a highly significant upgrade both for sys admins and ISVs. Conflicts between XP and early versions of Microsoft's own CRM package have already been unearthed, so limited conflicts with some third party software applications appear more than likely.

Buckle up - it's going to be a bumpy ride. ®

Related stories

Windows XP SP2 slips into Fall
Should XP pirates get SP2?
MS bigs up Windows XP SP2
Microsoft irks ISVs with XP SP2 delay
Gates parades Windows security advances
Beefed-up firewall, new version of Update for XP SP2
Vendors wary of MS Windows Firewall

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.