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Chapter 1. Introducing Windows XP > Service Pack Upgrades

Service Pack Upgrades

In the fall of 2002, Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released for Windows XP. As with service packs for previous Microsoft operating systems such as NT, SP1 wasn't worthy of being dubbed a new version of XP, although it did extend the functionality of XP into new key areas. More importantly, it consisted of many bug fixes and attempted to placate the U.S. Department of Justice on the issue of monopolistic business practices. Your version of Windows may already incorporate SP1, or you may need to upgrade to SP-1 through Windows Update or another method (such as a CD from Microsoft). Some of the features of SP1 include

  • Windows CE for Smart Displays (Mira)— Support for smart display devices running Windows CE .NET that interact via 802.11 wireless with a Windows XP base station.

  • Freestyle— Support for a simple, graphical front-end to the most often used Windows XP digital media tasks that allows you to interact with your Windows XP computer by using a remote control instead of a mouse.

  • USB 2.0— An enhancement to USB 1.x increases maximum transfer rates to 480Mbps.

  • IPv6— Support for the next version of the IP protocol, created due to the need for more publicly addressable IP addresses.

  • Consent Decree compliance— Allows users to “hide” links to Microsoft middlewear products such as Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, and have other options shown instead.

  • Windows .NET Messenger 4.7— New version of Messenger that features enhanced security and compliance with the DOJ Consent Decree.

  • Tablet PC— Support for full-featured “baby” laptop computers with touch screens and handwriting recognition that can be picked up and taken on the go. A new version of Windows XP (Tablet PC Edition) will power these devices that allow for new and unusual ways to use Windows (see Figure 1.13).

    Figure 1.13. An example of a Tablet PC.

  • Microsoft Product Activation— Changes Product Activation to disable certain pirated versions of Windows XP. The changes should have no effect on legally obtained copies of Windows. Activation was also loosened, to allow a three-day grace period (in which to phone in to Microsoft for an exception) in the case of installation of XP on two different computers using the same activation key. This will prove to be a great benefit to those users who have a system experience a non-recoverable disaster and need to reinstall Windows XP onto a new computer.

  • Security Fixes and Improvements— Includes all patches and hot fixes that have been released for Windows XP since it was released to manufacturing last year.



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