Windows XP Reloaded muddies the SP2 waters

Windows XP Reloaded muddies the SP2 waters

Summary: XP Service Pack 2 will bring some much-needed security focus to the OS, but Microsoft still seems unsure about the revenue and roadmap implications

TOPICS: Tech Industry
Right now, Microsoft wants to talk about the wisdom of Windows XP users, personal and corporate, upgrading to the forthcoming Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows XP. The security-focused SP2 is now at Release Candidate 1 (RC1), with RC2 due at the end of May and the final version expected later in the summer.

However, at an SP2 workshop in London yesterday, the assembled journalists kept raising the inconvenient (for Microsoft) question of exactly what 'XP Reloaded' (an internal code name that Microsoft heartily wishes had never been leaked) is or is not.

The 'XP Reloaded' moniker has certainly muddied the waters in a big way. On the one hand, 'Windows XP Service Pack 2' sounds like a dull-but-worthy collection of patches, but actually isn't. In fact, SP2 is much more akin to a point release, containing a lot of new code, mostly security-related, some of which may cause compatibility problems with some applications. Microsoft will be aggressively giving it away, not only to downloaders but also through retail channels and even through the mail -- postage and packing charges to be decided.

By contrast, 'Windows XP Reloaded' sounds like an interim release, but actually isn't. At the workshop, Paul Randle, Windows client product manager in the UK, said that Microsoft will give more details on XP Reloaded 'in a couple of weeks', but stressed that 'it's not a new version of the OS'. It is, according to the company at last week's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, a marketing campaign to revitalise consumer interest in the operating system -- undoubtedly with the intention of revitalising revenue along the way. So what's the score?

Topic: Tech Industry


Charles has been in tech publishing since the late 1980s, starting with Reed's Practical Computing, then moving to Ziff-Davis to help launch the UK version of PC Magazine in 1992. ZDNet came looking for a Reviews Editor in 2000, and he's been here ever since.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • 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.??"