Microsoft Ships Windows 2000 SP3

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2002-07-30 Print this article Print

Service Pack 3 includes many security and compatibility updates, along with support for automatic updates.

Microsoft Corp. released the long-awaited and much delayed Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 for general download on Thursday afternoon. The service pack is available at its Web site as well as on CD. Many frustrated customers who had been trying to find the SP3 download earlier in the day expressed concern that its release was going to be delayed again, given that it was not yet available on the site. Microsoft on Tuesday said SP3 would be available for general download on Thursday, but did not specify a time. "I really need this service pack as I have about 1,200 computers that I shipped out to our customers over two months ago," said one impatient customer. "We cut the image CD earlier this week, but then ran into a technical glitch and were told that this Windows 2000 SP3 will take care of the problem. I dont want to have to wait any longer."
This service pack has been more than a year in the making and follows the release of SP2 in May 2001. A service pack is essentially a collection of all the bug fixes and other security issues that have been released or been worked on since the product hit the shelves.
Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., began beta testing SP3 last November, but its release was pushed back primarily as a result of the comprehensive software and security review, known as Trustworthy Computing, which Microsoft chairman and chief software architect Bill Gates put in place earlier this year. Microsoft on Tuesday said SP3 was a "well-tested collection of updates that focuses on a variety of customer-reported concerns with the Windows 2000 family of operating systems. In many ways, SP3 is a traditional service pack in that it includes enhancements to improve upon Windows 2000s reliability, compatibility and security. "In addition, Microsoft is fulfilling its commitment to implement the changes required by the consent decree signed with the Department of Justice and nine settling states. Microsoft is committed to providing customers with the most up-to-date and comprehensive software available and encourages customers to apply SP3. Microsoft is also committed to quality, listening to customers and responding to their issues," the company said in a statement released late Tuesday. Service Pack 3 includes a slew of security and compatibility updates, along with support for automatic updates. With SP3, network administrators can set Windows 2000 to automatically download or schedule updates to the operating system. Microsoft has included a new configuration pane in SP3 called Configure Programs as a result of its antitrust settlement with the Department of Justice and nine states. Users will now be given the option to override Microsoft defaults and select a custom Web browser, e-mail client, media player, instant messenger, and Java virtual machine. The pane will also feature an option to hide integrated Windows components such as Internet Explorer or Windows Media Player. SP3 has become critical given that Microsoft has also delayed several times the release of the Windows .Net server family, the successor to the Windows 2000 server family. Microsoft released the first release candidate for the servers last week, and said the software would be ready by the year-end. But, until then, users have to stick with what they have. Improving the security of the Windows 2000 server family has thus been of great importance to Microsoft and of concern to users, sources said. This weeks release of Windows 2000 SP3 follows the release in early June of the first beta of Service Pack 1 for the Windows XP operating system. That service pack also includes all the security fixes, application compatibility updates and updated drivers released since the launch of the product last October, as well as elements that comply with the changes required by the consent decree between Microsoft, the Department of Justice and the nine settling states. It is expected to be generally available late this summer.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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