Microsoft readies XP SP2 giveaway

Microsoft readies XP SP2 giveaway

Summary: Microsoft says it will give away Service Pack 2 for XP, but remains coy about the exact nature of XP Reloaded

At a reviewers' workshop in London yesterday, Microsoft revealed more information about its plans for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), which is currently available for download as a 200MB Release Candidate 1. By the time it is released in its own right later in the summer this will have slimmed down to around 80MB, and the company plans to make it available for free on CD in shops. It will also be obtainable by post, although the company has yet to decide whether to pay for postage and packing. Microsoft says that smart downloading techniques will minimise the time spent online for those using dial-up to obtain the upgrade.

SP2 will be labelled on the box as having "Advanced Security Technologies", highlighting its set of updates to Windows' firewall, antivirus and network protection mechanisms. Although the company says that some of these changes will cause problems with around one in 10 existing applications, it is not planning a certification programme and is not maintaining a public list of troublesome software. Tablet PCs are also catered for by SP2's inclusion of Lonestar -- more formally known as XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 -- which adds more stylus input options and Office integration.

Microsoft was reticent when questioned about "XP Reloaded", a major marketing campaign due to run in the second half of the year. The company has previously said that the campaign is intended to rejuvenate consumer excitement about XP. Speculation has centred on the unreleased Media Player 10 and possible inclusion of online music-store integration, together with iTunes-like links with portable music devices. Microsoft refused to comment beyond saying that it will release more details in a couple of weeks.

For more details from the reviewers' workshop, click here.

Topic: Operating Systems

Rupert Goodwins

About Rupert Goodwins

Rupert started off as a nerdy lad expecting to be an electronics engineer, but having tried it for a while discovered that journalism was more fun. He ended up on PC Magazine in the early '90s, before that evolved into ZDNet UK - and Rupert evolved with them into an online journalist.

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  • First, let me say ..I have a perfectly legal preinstalled version of XP on my PC
    Now I have an honest and serious question for all..What if we / I choose NOT to install SP2..?
    What if were/ I'm tired of giving up more and more hard disk space to Microsoft for endless ENDLESS security updates ..?
    What if I dont want a firewall which I cant turn totally off if I choose to ..?
    Why should I just say "here Microsoft ..take complete control of my PC and my internet activities"??
    What if we / I think "enough is enough.??"
  • If you choose to stop eating, you die. "Enough is enough" just doesn't work in computer world.

    There will be never enough, whether you choose Windows or Linux, or exotic BeOS. If you choose to stop patching, you then better brace up for exploits that eventually will make your computer a "zombie" used to build attack force against other sites (less even belonging to YOU the "owner").

    Yes, you can turn OFF the Automatic Updates and Firewall completely. But then you'll be responsible for the consequences.

    The Express installation for SP2 will normally be around 100MB (vs Network installation made for admins which was 270MB last time I checked) -- not too much even for a dial-up (are there any dinosauri left as well?) -- a night's work on dial-up, 20 minutes on broadband.

    So man, there's no point in whining about "I don't want". Just please keep things simple for us all -- please DO PATCH will ya? :)
  • Saw this after my first enquiry - but the question begs an answer: as it is I die of nothing but thre Rage to Patch - so will there be continuous patches for the XP 2 or has MS done its homework right this time???