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August 2004
Microsoft announced the release of Windows® XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies. This free service pack delivers the latest security updates and innovations from Microsoft, establishes strong default security settings, and adds new proactive protection features that will help better 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.”

Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 will be distributed 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 receive Service Pack 2 is to simply 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 experience of Service Pack 2 and all future updates to Windows XP.

The timing for customers to receive the Service Pack 2 download through Automatic Updates depends on a number of factors, including the customer’s Internet usage, location, language and the level of Internet demand for Service Pack 2. Automatic Updates uses spare Internet capacity to progressively download updates without interfering with daily PC use. Automatic Updates is easy to turn on in Windows XP, and details are available at http://www.microsoft.com/protect/.
Customers without reliable Internet connections who wish to obtain Service Pack 2 on CD can order a free disc from the Microsoft® Web site. Microsoft also is working with computer manufacturers to ensure they can make Windows XP-based PCs preloaded with Service Pack 2 available as soon as possible.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies was designed to provide proactive protection for Windows XP. The updates and enhancements in Service Pack 2 focus on stronger security settings, increased manageability and control, and Improved and more-secure experiences.

Service Pack 2 establishes stronger default security settings and includes updates with new features and tools designed to help customers better defend their systems and information from hackers, viruses and other security threats. This means safer browsing and communications for consumers plus an improved security infrastructure for businesses. Service Pack 2 also makes it easier to configure and manage security resources with new functionality, more accessible and intuitive security tools, and the new Windows Security Center. Updates for key drivers, updated support for new technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® — especially around security — and security updates for other key features are also included, ultimately providing a safer end-user experience and thus enabling more productive and enjoyable computing.
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