Windows XP SP2: Trouble Ahead for Developers, Users
Opinion: It sounds like a small milestone, but the second release candidate of Service Pack 2 is a big dealit's the last rehearsal for the pack's significant turns in security.The major security changes in Windows XP Service Pack 2 mean big trouble for developers and users, a fact highlighted by Microsofts introduction this week of the packs second release candidatethe last major test before it hits the streets. Microsoft has a history of major releases with understated names, and Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) is no exception. Windows for Workgroups 3.11 was a major technical upgrade over Windows for Workgroups 3.10 or Windows 3.11. Windows NT 3.51 had huge changes compared with Windows NT 3.50a version you didnt want to run. So it is with Windows XP SP2 and the parallel Service Pack 1 to Windows Server 2003. Like those earlier .01 Windows updates, it implements large changes in the internals of Windows.
But SP2 also adds major new user features. SP2 changes are largely but not exclusively related to security enhancements, with a few nonsecurity touches thrown in, such as a new Bluetooth stack (golly gee, just what I was waiting for).