Page Two

By Craig Newell  |  Posted 2003-12-16 Print this article Print

SP2 will include a greatly enhanced version of Microsofts Internet Connection Firewall (renamed "Windows Firewall") that will allow users greater control over the Internet access of their applications, Nash said. Today, "in many cases, ports are open by default," Nash said. "But when you close all ports, some applications are broken."
With the new firewall, users will not have to choose between turning all ports on or off. Now, they will be able to authorize specific applications to make use of certain ports using an application approval list.
Other new features on tap for XP SP2 include the following:
  • Pop-up manager: Pop-up manager is a pop-up blocker that will allow Internet Explorer to detect that a pop-up or pop-up under a window is unwanted. But users will need to turn on this feature, as pop-up blocking will be turned off by default.
  • Buffer overrun protection: By compiling all of the code changed since XP was released using the latest Visual Studio compiler, Microsoft is claiming it will reduce buffer overrun vulnerabilities.
  • Accidental download/program installation blocking: Internet Explorer will be set in SP2 to block potentially malicious Web site downloads.
  • Updated versions of code supporting the Bluetooth wireless standard; DirectX 9.0b; Windows Media Player 9 Series; and unified wireless local-area network client.
  • Enhanced file attachment handling in Outlook Express and Windows Messenger: Outlook Express will no longer download external content (such as graphics) in HTML mail by default.


    Craig Newell joined Ziff Davis Internet as Associate Editor in June 2003.

    Prior to that, he served as a freelance editor for Ziff Davis.

    Newell began his reporting at BetaNews, a site dedicated to news surrounding pre-release software.

    In 2001, he joined Ziff Davis' eWEEK as a freelance reporter covering America Online Inc. where he broke several important stories including unreleased details on America Online's software client. He has also served as an online community producer for and worked on MSNBC's daytime news programming.


    Submit a Comment

    Loading Comments...
    Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

    Rocket Fuel