Numbered build 2149, RC2 is currently available to testers and will soon be offered for public download.
Although a final release of SP2 could be months away, RC2 is a significant milestone that Microsoft hopes will correct numerous bugs and software incompatibilities discovered after the preview release of RC1 in March.
Redmondites gathered at a Microsoft cafe to celebrate the christening of build 2149, while company spokespeople heralded the still-beta release to press outlets.
The primary focus of Windows XP Service Pack 2 is security. Microsoft has included a new version of Internet Explorer, improved memory protection, e-mail safeguards for Outlook Express, the Windows Firewall, new security settings for Windows Media Player 9, redesigned networking components, and a new Windows “Security Center” to coordinate and manage security features.
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