Windows XP SP2 On The Way

By Larry Seltzer  |  Print this article Print


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

Service Pack 2 will make a major difference for security in Windows XP. With its introduction, Microsoft will address the need to make the OS inaccessible except where the user opens it up. The additions are enough we could call it Windows XP 2004.

Microsoft began to talk about the upcoming Service Pack 2 for Windows XP at its recent There was a time when service packs were mostly just bunches of individual patches consolidated into a single program. Sure, there were new features in them but they were subtle features, like a new tab on a dialog box.

Windows XP has had an odd history with service packs. SP1, in addition to the usual consolidation of patches, added the court-ordered Set Program Access And Defaults applet, which allowed anyone to switch their Web browser, instant messaging and media player defaults. Of course, this gave competitors an even playing field and now Internet Explorer has vibrant competition (ha-ha!).

On the other hand, Service Pack 2 will make significant and noticeable differences in the behavior of the operating system in the interest of locking it down for security purposes. The changes—as they stand now many months before the release of SP2— are detailed in a paper on Microsoft's developer site, MSDN.

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Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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