Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows XP, which was about 130MB (compressed) in size, fixed 324 errors in the operating system. Service Pack 2 (SP2), which will ship in mid-2004 at the latest, is nearly three times as large, at 360MB (Build 2082). The main focus, apart from the fixing of well-known problems, is on security.
More and more of today's PCs have always-on Internet connections. Although business computers are relatively well protected against Internet-borne attacks by corporate firewalls, this is not generally the case with home PCs. Microsoft is partly responsible for this undesirable state of affairs: after installing Windows XP the integrated software firewall (Internet Connection Firewall) is currently switched off by default, leaving the system unprotected from hacker attacks. Last year's Blaster worm proved how important a firewall can be: even today, a newly installed Windows XP system will be infected after few seconds' connection to the Internet if the firewall is deactivated and the Blaster patch is missing.
XP SP2 offers improved security in four areas:
- Improved network protection
- Protection from memory overflow
- Safer email handling
- More secure Internet browsing
The following pages describe these changes in more detail.
Service Pack 2 is designed to make Windows XP more secure.