New Windows XP SP2 Hits Beta

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) has been in beta for several months, but Microsoft recently decided to rearchitect the release to be an all-encompassing, must-have security upgrade, so testers haven't seen a new build for a while. That situation will change next week, when testers will get their first look at a rejuvenated XP SP2 that will include an improved firewall, pop-up ad blocking, and other new security features. The last major product on which Microsoft halted development this way was Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 4.0. In the summer of 1996, Microsoft was developing IE 4.0 to include features such as Site Map and shell-based FTP exploring. Then Netscape announced its Netcaster desktop-replacement project (code-named Constellation), and Microsoft retooled IE 4.0, eventually emerging more than a year later with a version of IE that differed significantly from the original idea and included an Active Desktop, Channels Bar, and integrated IE shell. Ah, those were the days.

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