Microsoft has finally announced the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2, a major update for Windows XP that contains what the company is calling “advanced security technologies.”
The free service pack comes with many across-the-board security updates, including hardened default security settings and new proactive protection features designed to help safeguard computers from hackers, viruses and other security risks.
“Service Pack 2 is a significant step in delivering on our goal to help customers make their PCs better isolated and more resilient in the face of increasingly sophisticated attacks,” said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft.
“It is the result of sustained investments in innovation and extensive industry collaboration. It also reflects a broad recognition that as the security environment changes, the industry needs to work together to respond.”
During the worldwide rollout of Service Pack 2, Microsoft plans to localize the software in 25 languages over the next two months and distribute it to computer manufacturers, enterprise customers and consumers through downloads, retail installation, free CDs and on new PCs.
The easiest way for current Windows XP users to ensure they receive Service Pack 2 when it releases in their language is to turn on the Automatic Updates feature in Windows XP.
Customers with Automatic Updates enabled will receive the latest security updates for Windows XP, along with updated installation software that will optimize the download speed of Service Pack 2 and future updates to Windows XP.
The timing for customers to receive the Service Pack 2 download through Automatic Updates depends on several factors, including the customer’s Internet use, location, language and the level of Internet demand for Service Pack 2.