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It's Here! Windows XP Service Pack 2 Released Yesterday to Computer Makers
"Apply it at your earliest opportunity," urges Rob Enderle.

"With the proliferation of viruses and other broad threats on business and consumer desktops, I can think of no higher priority than trying to ensure the security of personal computers," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst for the Enderle Group, yesterday as Microsoft released Windows XP Service Pack 2.

"Whether the customer is a large enterprise, a small business or an individual," Enderle continued, "Windows XP Service Pack 2 is critical because it addresses today's exposures in a comprehensive fashion. For anyone currently using Windows XP, my advice is to apply it at your earliest opportunity."

Stephen Cullen, senior vice president, Security Products and Solutions at Symantec, was also on hand to comment. "Now, more than ever, users need to be more hands-on in safeguarding their computers," Cullen said. "Symantec supports Microsoft's efforts to raise security awareness among Windows users worldwide with the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2," he continued. "Symantec's current line of industry-leading consumer and enterprise antivirus, firewall and intrusion prevention security solutions are compatible with Service Pack 2 and allow the mutual customers of Symantec and Microsoft to defend against today's blended security threats as well as the unknown threats of tomorrow," Cullen added.

The free service pack delivers the latest security updates and innovations from Microsoft, establishes strong default security settings, and adds new proactive protection features that will help better safeguard computers from hackers, viruses and other security risks. During the worldwide rollout of Service Pack 2, Microsoft will localize the software in 25 languages over the next two months and distribute it to computer manufacturers, enterprise customers and consumers through downloads, retail installation, free CDs and on new PCs. The easiest way for current Windows XP users to ensure they receive Service Pack 2 when it releases in their language is to simply turn on the Automatic Updates feature in Windows XP.

Customers with Automatic Updates enabled will receive the latest security updates for Windows XP, along with updated installation software that will optimize the download experience of Service Pack 2 and all future updates to Windows XP. The timing for customers to receive the Service Pack 2 download through Automatic Updates depends on a number of factors, including the customer's Internet usage, location, language and the level of Internet demand for Service Pack 2.

Microsoft says it expects to distribute Service Pack 2 to approximately 100 million PCs through Automatic Updates over the next two months. (Automatic Updates is easy to turn on in Windows XP, and details are available at http://www.microsoft.com/protect/.) Customers without reliable Internet connections who wish to obtain Service Pack 2 on CD can order a free disc from the Microsoft Web site as Service Pack 2 is rolled out worldwide. Microsoft also is working with computer manufacturers to ensure they can make Windows XP-based PCs preloaded with Service Pack 2 available as soon as possible. "Businesses of all sizes should be evaluating Service Pack 2 now, if they have not begun doing so already," says the official Microsoft news release accompanying the announcement. "Business customers using Windows XP should deploy the service pack on their most important systems, especially notebooks and computers for home workers, as soon as is practical."

"Service Pack 2 is a significant step in delivering on our goal to help customers make their PCs better isolated and more resilient in the face of increasingly sophisticated attacks," said Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief software architect. "It's the result of sustained investments in innovation and extensive industry collaboration. It also reflects a broad recognition that as the security environment changes, the industry needs to work together to respond."

About Security News Desk
SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

Administrators should note that this is a fairly drastic upgrade and some software will cause trouble for your IT staffers, particularly those "unauthorized" downloads some workers helped themselves to. ;-)




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