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  Microsoft to end Windows XP SP1 support
Time: 00:56 EST/05:56 GMT | News Source: Ars Technica | Posted By: Kenneth van Surksum

It has been well-known that Microsoft has ended extended support for Windows 98, 98 SE, and Windows ME. This support ended on July 11 of this year. However, something that hasn't been as widely reported is that Microsoft is also preparing to end said support for Windows XP SP1 on October 10.

This isn't really a big deal, as SP2 has been out for a while now and is a free download for anyone who owns Windows XP. The security features of SP2 certainly make it worth anyone's while to download, but there may be a few applications still out in the wild that still have problems running on SP2. This probably explains Microsoft's addendum that they will make "Custom Support Agreements (CSA)" available to eligible enterprise customers.

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#1 By 3653 (68.52.143.149) at 8/30/2006 1:48:20 AM
For several months now... WindowsUpdate has required SP2 before applying any subsequent patches.

#2 By 17996 (131.107.0.105) at 8/30/2006 12:56:39 PM
#1 - not true. It heavily promotes and recommends SP2, but there is still a button you can click to see & install the SP1 updates. (I just did this a few weeks ago on one of my test machines that runs SP1.)

In any event, its about time SP1 support ends. Corporations have had two years to investigate and fix any compatibility problems caused by SP2.

#3 By 3653 (68.52.143.149) at 8/30/2006 4:45:11 PM
i stand corrected. I was wrong. Thanks Patriot.

#4 By 8556 (12.217.111.92) at 8/31/2006 9:47:00 AM
A sidebar: I installed the "new" SP2b on an OEM PC yesterday and still had to install 60 updates. Does anyone know what the added 8 MB on SP2b (compared to SP2) actually is and why MS didn't slipstream most of these updates into SP2b?

#5 By 17996 (131.107.0.105) at 8/31/2006 12:48:37 PM
#4 - what is SP2b? I've never heard of it.

#6 By 8556 (12.217.111.92) at 8/31/2006 2:14:00 PM
Patriot: SP2b is what you now get when you purchase OEM versions of Windows XP from thier auhorized distributors. It was quietly released. I supect the only change is not an enhancement for the end user. I just wonder why they bothered to release it and not include most of the security updates that are necessary.

The PCs I build are all customized. So, using the preinstalltion method is not useful to me. I would have liked to see all security updates included in SP2b.

What function or enhancement is included in the 8-MB of added bits (vs. SP2) on the SP2b CD?

This post was edited by bobsireno on Thursday, August 31, 2006 at 14:15.

#7 By 23275 (68.17.42.38) at 8/31/2006 8:01:44 PM
The OEM systems builder kit [which rocks, by the way....], reflects: [Per BOB Wired - YES, BOB lives, LOL ]

Microsoft made some changes to Microsoft Windows desktop operating system software related to the way in which Internet Explorer (IE) handles some web pages (IE Active X update, KB912945). This update to Internet Explorer technology relates to Microsoft's involvement with the Eolas Technologies and the Regents of the University of California v. Microsoft patent case (Eolas v. Microsoft).

Microsoft has made new end item part numbers for affected Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and Small Business Server 2003 products to implement the Internet Explorer Update. Client SKUs include Starter Edition, Home Edition, Professional, Tablet PC Edition, and Media Center Edition.

View the IE Active X update description, and the MSDN article at Activating ActiveX for more information on the changes.

With the kit, builders may easily assemble and maintain their images and ensure they are
lawfully supporting the required "Out of the box experience" builders must provide. One may build images, recovery CD's and customize the OPK in about any way they wish - so any argument that builders cannot control what their systems do, or what defaults they have is pure BS. For example, a builder may slip in and set as the default, just about any default applications they wish and present an anything but MS experience if they wish - FF, Real, QT - whatever they want to do.

Builders may also function as integrators and if they are not direct to consumer shippers, they needn't deliver systems within these restrictions, so long as they ENSURE they are shipping lawfully loaded systems using genuine MS SW.

For OEM builders there is a lesser known OEM Backdoor at, http://login.live.com/login.srf?id=25126&ru=http%3a%2f%2foem.microsoft.com%2fscript%2fredirector.aspx%3f404%3bhttp%3a%2f%2foem.microsoft.com%3a80%2fBackRoom

Within the Partner Channel and using the kits which arrive with the Action Pack, one is provided with a very good and complete set of tools. Using them and with a little practice,
just about any good engineer can provide as good and professional a build as any very large OEM - even better since small OEM's can build very specific systems with more diverse hardware. With the extender to the OPX [the OPX] one may,

From some of what one may access:

The US Partner Technology Strategists and Worldwide System Builder Channel teams are pleased to announce version 1.0 of the OPK eXtender (OPX). The OPX is a powertoy that:
Adds system builder-specific features to the OEM Preinstallation Kit (OPK).
Can be used with or without the OPK.
Can be used to build fully customized PCs using the CD-based preinstallation method if you do not have the OPK installed.
Runs Most Frequently Used Tools, Manages Configuration Sets
OPX adds a management layer to the preinstallation infrastructure created with the OPK. With the graphical user interface (GUI) of OPX, you can run the most frequently used command-line OPK tools and manage the configuration sets created by the OPK.

Easier to Automate Windows PC Builds
Use OPX to manage all the software resources used to build new PCs:

Windows SKUs
Product keys
Out-of-box drivers
Windows updates
Third-party applications
Your company logos and support information
Using the OPX makes it easier to automate the process of building a Windows PC, using either the network-based or CD-based method.

It's great stuff and that is what the "b" is all about - not at all unlike the OSR "releases" seen between win 95 and 98 se

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