IntroductionPublished: August 6, 2004
The Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system includes a variety of technologies that communicate with the Internet to provide increased ease of use and functionality. Browser and e-mail technologies are obvious examples, but there are also technologies such as Automatic Updates that help users obtain the latest software and product information, including bug fixes and security patches. These technologies provide many benefits, but they also involve communication with Internet sites, which administrators might want to control.
Control of this communication can be achieved through a variety of options built into individual components, into the operating system as a whole, and into server components designed for managing configurations across your organization. For example, as an administrator, you can use Group Policy to control the way some components communicate. For some components, you can direct all communication to the organization’s own internal Web site instead of to an external site on the Internet.
This white paper provides information about the communication that flows between components in Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and sites on the Internet, and describes steps to take to limit, control, or prevent that communication in an organization with many users. The white paper is designed to assist you, the administrator, in planning strategies for deploying and maintaining Windows XP Professional with SP2 in a way that helps to provide an appropriate level of security and privacy for your organization’s networked assets.
This white paper provides guidelines for controlling components in the following set of operating systems:
• Windows XP Professional with SP2 on user computers. The focus is on the installation or configuration steps needed for these computers.
Note This white paper does not cover desktop products other than Windows XP Professional with SP2. For example, it does not cover Windows XP Home Edition or Windows XP Media Center Edition.
• Windows Server™ 2003 on servers. The white paper does not focus on these computers, but it provides information for using these servers as part of your deployment or maintenance strategies. For instance, it describes ways of using Group Policy on a server running Windows Server 2003 to control the behavior or configuration of users’ computers running Windows XP with SP2. In many instances, procedures that can be used on a server running Windows Server 2003 can also be used on a server running Windows 2000.
The white paper is organized around individual components found in Windows XP Professional with SP2, so that you can easily find detailed information for any component you are interested in.
This white paper provides links to privacy statements for a number of individual components in Windows XP Professional with SP2. You can read the overall privacy statement for Windows XP Professional with SP2 on the Microsoft Web site at: