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?