Published: August 10, 2004 On This Page Introduction Summary of Relevant Windows XP SP2 Dates Guidance Resources Download Frequently Asked Questions
IntroductionWindows XP Service Pack 2 ( SP2) contains major security improvements designed to provide better protection against hackers, viruses, and worms. Windows XP SP2 also improves the manageability of the security features in Windows XP and provides more and better information to help users make decisions that may potentially affect their security and privacy. Because of these significant improvements, Microsoft views Windows XP SP2 as an essential security update and is therefore distributing it as a “critical update” via Windows Update (WU) and the Automatic Updates (AU) delivery mechanism in Windows. Microsoft strongly urges customers with Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1-based systems to update to Windows XP SP2 as soon as possible.
What is the purpose of this mechanism?
While recognizing the security benefits of Windows XP SP2, some organizations have requested the ability to temporarily disable delivery of this update via AU and WU. These organizations have populations of PCs, upon which they have enabled AU. This is done to ensure that these PCs receive all critical security updates.
Since SP2 will start to be delivered to PCs running Windows XP or Windows XP with SP1 via AU starting on August 16, these customers would like to temporarily block the delivery of SP2 in order to provide additional time for validation and testing of the update. In response to these requests, Microsoft is providing the following guidance, resources, and communication vehicles to meet the needs of these customers.
Please note that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 will be available for a period of 120 days (4 months) from August 16. At the end of this period, Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.