XP SP2 is going to be so much more that a combination of fixes and updates, it provides a whole new layer of security infrastructure, settings and policies that defend against viruses and worms.
So if you are a developer why should you care, doesn't Service Packs only really concern system administrators and how they can get them deployed?
Oh no, IMHO developers of all types should keep an ear to the ground about what is going to be included in a service pack, as it may introduce a change that could affect your application and this is especially the case with SP2 for Windows XP.
At the most basic level, SP2 is all about security, as well as the typical scenario of a service pack being an accumulation of all hotfix’s and updates that have occurred since RTM. The basic breakdown of the changes is increased network protection, new memory protection, improved email security and enhanced browsing security.
So looking at the table below, a developer will especially have to focus on some of the changes that are going to occur.
XP SP2 Change
Increased Network Protection
New Memory Protection
Improved Email Security
Enhanced Browsing Security
If you develop Web sites or Web applications, let me give you some examples of what is going to change (NOTE this is not a complete list of changes, but the high-level areas of change):
If you are an Application developer that makes use of COM, DCOM, and COM+ or indeed if you do some sockets programming, then there are enhancements in the security that should you read up on. Enhancments include:
Overall I think everyone that develops software or is a system administrator will need a high-level understanding of what is going to change with SP2 and consider testing applications as early as possible.
Over the next few weeks I will breakdown some of the detail and focus on some of the areas that I am interested in, but I will also post some of the links that would be required to have a depth or breath based understanding of what is going to change.