Microsoft's increasing concern over information security has translated into its decision to bite the bullet and make its upcoming SP2 (Service Pack 2) security patch available to all users - including those using pirated copies of its Windows XP software.According to Goffe, Microsoft is more concerned about keeping those using unlicensed copies of Windows safe than they are about the piracy issue. He also admitted that reducing the number of insecure Windows systems could lessen the impact of major worm and virus attacks whose fallout can affect all Internet users.
"We haven't explicitly done anything to SP2 to exclude it from pirated copies," said Microsoft group product manager Barry Goffe. The United States-based executive was interviewed via telephone.
Unleashing SP2 without any anti-piracy measures is a change of policy for Microsoft; unlicensed Windows XP machines were prevented from downloading SP1 when it was released in September of 2002. That didn't stop pirates from finding ways around Microsoft's anti-piracy measures, which makes me wonder if some of Microsoft's motivation stems from a belief that it can't prevent cracked, hacked, or otherwise jacked copies of SP2 from undermining any anti-piracy measures.