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Microsoft Releases Windows XP Service Pack 2

For Immediate Release
News Release

Microsoft Releases Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies
- New Zealand Customers Can Pre-Order Free Service Pack CD Today

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Monday, August 9, 2004 - Microsoft New Zealand today confirmed that Windows(r) XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies has been released to manufacturing over the weekend. The easiest way for most customers to ensure they receive Windows XP Service Pack 2 is through enabling the Automatic Update feature in Microsoft Windows XP today.

From tomorrow, New Zealand customers who prefer a CD version of Windows XP Service Pack 2 can pre-order the free service pack CD by emailing mailto:feedback@mss.co.nz or calling 0800 800 004. The service pack will be available for online download from the Microsoft Download Centre within the next 24 hours and the CDs are expected to ship in September. Windows XP Service Pack 2 CDs will be available on the cover of the September 2004 issue of New Zealand PC World. For the latest update on Windows XP Service Pack 2 and availability, customers should visit www.microsoft.com/nz/security.

Microsoft New Zealand's Director of Security, Terry Allen, recommends that all Windows XP users install Service Pack 2 to benefit from major security improvements designed to provide better protection against hackers, viruses, worms and spyware. The service pack also improves the manageability of the security features in Windows XP and provides more and better information to help users make decisions that may potentially affect their security and privacy.

"The security enhancements in Windows XP Service Pack 2 represent a significant improvement for our customers by helping them make their computers more secure and resilient in the face of increasingly sophisticated attacks," said Allen. "With the proliferation of viruses and other security threats on business and consumer desktops, Service Pack 2 is the result of our sustained investments in innovation and close work with other industry leaders to respond."

Customers with Automatic Updates enabled will receive the latest security updates for Windows XP, along with updated installation software that will optimise the download experience of Service Pack 2 and all future updates to Windows XP. Automatic Updates is easy to turn on in Windows XP, and details are available at http://www.microsoft.com/protect/

As part of the worldwide rollout of Service Pack 2, Microsoft will localise the software in 25 languages over the next two months and distribute it to computer manufacturers, enterprise customers and consumers through downloads, retail installation, free CDs and on new PCs. Microsoft also is working with computer manufacturers to ensure they can make Windows XP-based PCs preloaded with Service Pack 2 available as soon as possible.

The timing for customers to receive the Service Pack 2 download through Automatic Updates depends on a number of factors, including the customer's Internet usage, location, language and the level of Internet demand for Service Pack 2. Automatic Updates uses spare Internet capacity to progressively download updates without interfering with daily PC use. Microsoft expects to distribute Service Pack 2 to approximately 100 million PCs through Automatic Updates over the next two months.

Businesses of all sizes should be evaluating Service Pack 2 now, if they have not begun doing so already. Business customers using Windows XP should deploy the service pack on their most important systems, especially notebooks and computers for home workers, as soon as is practical. The full network installation package for Windows XP Service Pack 2 will be posted on Microsoft TechNet ( http://www.microsoft.com/technet/winxpsp2). This site is also the best resource for accessing the most up-to-date technical information regarding Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Service Pack 2 Provides Proactive Protection for Windows XP Customers

Windows XP Service Pack 2 with Advanced Security Technologies was designed by Microsoft explicitly to provide proactive protection for Windows XP. The updates and enhancements in Service Pack 2 focus on three main areas:

* Stronger security settings. Windows XP Service Pack 2 establishes stronger default security settings and includes updates with new features and tools designed to help customers better defend their systems and information from hackers, viruses and other security threats. This means safer browsing and communications for consumers plus an improved security infrastructure for businesses.

* Increased manageability and control. Service Pack 2 makes it easier to configure and manage security resources with new functionality, more accessible and intuitive security tools, and the new Windows Security Center.

* Improved and more-secure experiences. Service Pack 2 includes updates for key drivers, updated support for new technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth(r) - especially around security - and security updates for other key features, all of which provide a safer end-user experience and thus enable more productive and enjoyable computing.

Microsoft Joins With Customers and Industry Partners to Deliver Latest Enhancements

Windows XP Service Pack 2 incorporates the results of significant customer testing. Microsoft has hosted more than 1 million downloads of test versions of Service Pack 2 through its technical preview, technical beta and MSDN(r) programs, making it one of the largest test programs in the company's history. In addition, Microsoft has tested thousands of applications and Windows XP-based devices for compatibility with Service Pack 2 and highly recommends the enhancements Windows XP Service Pack 2 provides for all types of users.

Developing Service Pack 2 required close collaboration between Microsoft and other industry leaders, including software vendors, chip makers and PC manufacturers. Examples of the industry collaboration on Windows XP Service Pack 2 include the following:

* Windows Security Center. Windows Security Center monitors the status of software Internet firewalls, Automatic Updates services and anti-virus software. It allows customers to see at a glance whether these essential security capabilities are turned on and up to date, or if additional actions need to be taken to better secure their PCs. Microsoft worked closely with ISVs to build the Windows Security Center customer experience.

* Data execution prevention. Windows XP Service Pack 2 works with processor technologies to reduce the risk of the most common means of virus penetration into computer systems - exploiting "buffer overrun" vulnerabilities. Microsoft worked closely with processor manufacturers, including Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and Intel Corporation to extend its Data Execution Prevention technology through new processor functionality.

* Preloaded PCs. Microsoft is working with computer manufacturers such as Dell, HP and IBM Corp and local New Zealand system builders to ensure the manufacturers are able to ship machines preloaded with Windows XP Service Pack 2 beginning in September and October.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

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Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

ENDS


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