Update: Windows XP Service Pack 2 Details

Windows & .NET Magazine report that Microsoft have given some details about their next Windows XP update, called Service Pack 2 (SP2), which is due in the first half of 2004. Some important changes:
  • XP SP2 will ship with all XP security features enabled by default, meaning that the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) will be on, and the Windows Messenger service will be off.
  • The company is also reducing XP’s susceptibility to buffer-overrun errors, which worms and viruses commonly exploit, by adding support for new code execution features available on newer Intel and AMD processors.
  • Finally, Microsoft is enabling the automatic download and installation of critical security hotfixes on XP SP2, ensuring that users’ systems are always protected.
These are all welcome, apart from the firewall, which I found to be slow and memory-hungry. Also I have some reservations about the automatic update of security fixes — some of these are big, too big for dial-up. Unless Microsoft is really careful at limiting their size, and ensuring that ‘critical’ doesn’t include every bit of update they throw out, folk with slow connections are not going to be happy.

News: Baffled by tech terms? You’re not alone

 
  A new study from the Global Consumer Advisory Board of chip maker AMD says many people are delaying buying new technologies because they don’t understand the language of the technology industry. The Technology Terminology and Complexity Study found, among other things that only 3% of correspondents “aced” their quiz, correctly identifying 11 of 11 multiple-choice definitions for various technology terms.
  • Most respondents got only 7 or fewer correct
  • Less than one quarter (22%) got 5 or fewer
  • Less than one tenth (9%) got 3 or fewer
Needless to say, I’m not surprised. If everyone adopted my own suggested terms, I think we’d all be happier.
 
Download the summary in PDF format.