I expected to see people attack Windows XP Service Pack 2. The update presents quite a threat to the marketability of rival open-source efforts like Firefox and other operating systems like OS X.
Thus, techy forums and websites have seen more than their fair share of opportunistic anti-Microsoft sniping since the public roll-out of SP2.
The main argument centres around problems with 3rd party software. Much like the new version of Firefox breaks legacy extensions, some applications have been affected by SP2. In reality most of this is down to intentional restrictions enforced by the new Windows Firewall. It will prompt the user the first time an application tries to open a port or connect to the internet in the background. To enable applications that open internet connections (eg virus-scanner update features), the user simply clicks "Allow" the first time the software is run under SP2. Of course, a software firewall will inevitably affect other software - it's the nature of the beast.
Software architect Tim Mullen elaborates:
Now, even with these tremendous advancements in XP, some people are going out of there way to find fault with it, as they seem to do with all things Microsoft. In fact, some of this is just downright hypocritical. Security researchers and analysts continually blast Microsoft for security issues, and have done so forever (I've even done it.) But now that the company has responded in a significant way, it gets bad press for releasing a Service Pack that might break ISV [Independent Software Vendor] applications.
The truth here is that if an application breaks, it really did need fixing anyway. And it's not like XP2 [XP Service Pack 2] snuck up on us, either: most development documentation has been around since last year. Its just that some are waiting until now to get on board. We as a security community have to embrace and support XP2 if we want to continue to make headway in this space.WinXP SP2: stop moaning and get downloading
Timothy M. Mullen, CIO and Chief Software Architect for AnchorIS.Com
(10 years ago)
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