Windows XP SP2 released to manufacturing

— 4:03 AM on August 9, 2004

Microsoft's oft-delayed Service Pack 2 for Windows XP has finally been released to manufacturing. Microsoft will apparently make the update available for download this week, though it recommends that users let Windows Update schedule an automatic SP2 download.

With SP2 finally on its way to Windows Update, ZDNet pundit David Berlind is suggesting that users cancel all non-AMD system purchases. Berlind's rationale is simple: SP2 features Data Execution Prevention (DEP), which guards against buffer overrun attacks. DEP requires No Execute (NX) support that's currently only available in AMD's Athlon 64, Opteron, and select Sempron processors, and in Intel's Itaniums. NX support isn't expected in Intel's Xeon and Pentium 4 processors until "E" revisions of those chips are released starting in late September.

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