XP Service Pack 2 Testing To Begin

The final version is expected to be released in the first half of next year, Microsoft said.

“The Windows XP SP2 beta is intended to provide software developers and IT professionals an opportunity to conduct early testing and to allow Microsoft to collect valuable customer feedback,” the software company said in a fact sheet it provided to reporters. “During this beta, Microsoft hopes to garner significant feedback from developers and IT professionals that will be incorporated into and improve the final product.”

Microsoft said that the software will be made available to information technology managers and developers via the MSDN Web site, and the company also will test the software using a number of people who have registered to be beta testers. In all, there will be hundreds of thousands of testers, Microsoft said.

Among the security improvements in Service Pack 2 are a beefed-up version of Windows Firewall, previously called Internet Connection Firewall, and software designed to block pop-up ads and prevent the unintended downloading and installation of software. The company also turned off the Windows Messenger service, which had been abused by some hackers.

Read more at News.com.