Despite the Windows and .NET magazine network reporting that XP SP2 has been delayed again, I can confirm that SP2 did ship last week.
The following text is taken from an e-mail received from Microsoft this morning:
“Windows XP Service Pack 2 released to manufacturing on Friday August 6, 2004.Windows XP Service Pack 2 contains major security improvements designed to provide better protection against hackers, viruses, and worms. Windows XP Service Pack 2 also improves the manageability of the security features in Windows XP and provides more and better information to help users make decisions that may potentially affect their security and privacy.
On Monday, August 9, 2004, the full network installation package for Windows XP Service Pack 2 will be posted on the Windows XP Service Pack 2 site on Microsoft TechNet (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/winxpsp2). This site is also the best resource for accessing the most up-to-date technical information regarding Windows XP Service Pack 2. On-line distribution will be the primary distribution vehicle for Windows XP Service Pack 2 and below is a summary of the key milestones of the distribution plan:
- 6 August 2004: Release to manufacturing
- 9 August 2004: Release to Microsoft Download Center (network installation package)
- 9 August 2004: Release to MSDN subscription site (CD ISO image)
- 10 August 2004: Release to Automatic Updates (for machines running pre-release versions of Windows XP Service Pack 2 only)
- 16 August 2004: Release to Automatic Updates (for machines NOT running pre-releases versions of Windows XP Service Pack 2)
- 16 August 2004: Release to Software Update Services
- Later in August: Release Server Pack 2 to Windows Update for interactive user installations
Because of the significant security improvements outlined above, Microsoft views Windows XP Service Pack 2 as an essential security update and is therefore distributing it as a ‘critical update’ via Windows Update (WU) and the Automatic Updates (AU) delivery mechanism in Windows. Microsoft is strongly urging customers with Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1-based systems to upgrade to Windows XP Service Pack 2 as soon as possible. “