Microsoft Corp. plans to announce as early as next week that it is ready to ship a Windows 2000 Update Rollup, the final security patch for the 5-year-old operating system.
The Update Rollup, which replaces Windows 2000 SP5 (Service Pack 5), is a cumulative set of hot fixes, security patches and critical updates packaged together for easy deployment.
"The [quality assurance] tests are done, and its ready to go. An announcement is imminent," a Microsoft source told Ziff Davis Internet News.
An announcement could coincide with the companys TechEd conference, scheduled for Orlando, Fla., next week.
The Update Rollup will contain all security-related updates produced for Windows 2000 between the time SP4 was released and the date the update ships. It will also feature a small number of important, non-security updates.
The Update Rollup comes just one month before mainstream support for Windows 2000 client and server releases expires on June 30. Microsoft divides its support lifecycle into two phases: mainstream and extended. Once a product enters the extended support period, Microsoft charges for support.
Windows 2000 remains the most dominant operating system used in the enterprise, but once mainstream support ends later this month, analysts expect corporate migration to Windows XP to speed up.
According to a message posted on Microsofts Windows 2000 site, the Update Rollup will require less pre-deployment testing because the number of updates included in the Update Rollup is significantly lower than the number typically included in a service pack.
Deployment is also easier because Microsoft has already released most of the contents of the Update Rollup as individual updates and hot fixes.
"Individual hot fixes made since SP4, but not included in the Update Rollup, will remain available via individual downloads," the company explained in the notice. "Customers who have not yet deployed Windows SP4 must deploy that SP4 as soon as possible because SP4 will be a prerequisite for deploying the Update Rollup."
The Update Rollup will ship as a "critical update" via the Windows Update mechanism.
Microsoft typically uses update rollups to deliver a select group of fixes between service packs or late in a products life cycle./p
There were three previous instances when Microsoft released update rollups for Windows products, including a Windows 2000 Security Rollup Package 1 (SRP1) in January 2000 and a Windows XP Update Rollup in 2003.