Retail customers purchasing off-the-shelf boxed copies of Windows XP Pro and Home will find the security-focused Service Pack 2 already integrated into the operating system.
SP2 is due to be released to manufacturing at the end of July, with general availability in the first two weeks of August, says Jay Templeton, Microsoft New Zealand’s Windows product manager.
Templeton says existing boxed copies of Windows XP will be recalled from stores and “refreshed” with SP2. A new box design with a large diagonal label will be introduced to reflect this, so customers can see they are buying the update.
While retail customers will get SP2 no matter what, OEMs and systems integrators will not be forced to ship the update with PCs. Templeton says this is because corporate customers want to evaluate SP2 before deploying it and therefore OEMs will be able to decide whether to ship systems with XP SP 1 plus updates, or go with the latest service pack.