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Windows 2000 SP3 Released to Premier Customers

Microsoft is set to release Service Pack 3 for Windows 2000 on Thursday, company officials said.

The company gave its Premier Customer group a first pass at SP3 on Tuesday. When the service pack is generally available on Thursday, it is supposed to be posted at: www.microsoft.com/windows2000/downloads/servicepacks/sp3/default.asp.

"SP3 is a well-tested collection of updates that focuses on a variety of customer-reported concerns with the Windows 2000 family of operating systems. In many ways, SP3 is a traditional service pack in that it includes enhancements to improve upon Windows 2000's reliability, compatibility and security," a Microsoft spokesman said. SP3 is the first service pack released for Windows 2000 since the Trustworthy Computing initiative caused Microsoft to discover a host of security issues.

"In addition, Microsoft is fulfilling its commitment to implement the changes required by the consent decree signed with the [Department of Justice] and nine settling states," the spokesman said. To comply with the legal requirement, Microsoft is providing users with a way to hide Microsoft middleware in Windows 2000. A similar mechanism is to be provided in the first service pack for Windows XP when that comes out this fall.

Service packs roll together dozens of fixes, some of which are issued as hotfixes between service packs. The service pack fixes are more thoroughly tested with a wider range of hardware and software for compatibility and reliability.

The last service pack, SP2, was released more than a year ago in May 2001 with 366 fixes. A Windows 2000 Security Rollup Package 1 released in January 2002 added 43 fixes.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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