The President's Message

JUNE 2004

David Harris

I recently read about the Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (XP SP2) and thought a few of its highlights would interest the club members.

Microsoft says it will spend around $300 million to support the launch of XP SP2 which is expected to ship in the fall. XP SP2 is a complete overhaul of the security infrastructure within Windows XP.

It will feature new technologies for network protection, secure e-mail handling and Web browsing, and PC maintenance. A key element is a new Windows Security Center that allows the monitoring of firewalls, automatic update and third-party antivirus software. It also warns customers about the need to apply patches.

There's more:

A new pop-up blocker, turned on by default, which will reduce a user's exposure to unsolicited, downloads. A new download blocker that will suppress unsolicited downloads until the user expresses interest. Redesigned security warnings that make it easier for users to understand what software is to be downloaded, make it more obvious when bad practices are used and allow users to choose to never install certain types of software. A new policy that restricts a user's ability to directly select the "low" security setting and tools to help expert users and support professionals understand and disable unwanted functionalities that have been added to the browser.

I am anxiously awaiting this new software upgrade.