Microsoft Adds More Features to XP Service Pack 2

The update, due out midyear, is looking more and more like a whole new version of Windows.

Microsoft Corp. has made a new, updated beta of its forthcoming Windows XP Service Pack 2 available to testers via its private BetaPlace site.

The Windows enthusiast site Neowin has posted a number of screen shots of the new build, Number 2082, on its Web site.

Service Pack 2 (SP2)—due out around mid-2004, according to Microsofts timetable—will include so many new features that it is practically a new version of Windows. Some Microsoft executives have admitted as much.

SP2 will include a number of features and fixes aimed expressly at improving the security of the now-three-year-old Windows XP. With SP2, Microsoft is turning on its built-in firewall by default; including new browser and e-mail safeguards; and enhancing XPs memory protection features, company officials have said.

There are the usual types of updates in 2082, testers say, such as updated versions of Windows Media Player, Outlook Express and Internet Explorer code. But the new beta build, Number 2082, also includes a few features not supported by previous beta builds of the service pack.


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