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, avccording to Microsoft New Zealand’s Windows product manager, Jay Templeton.
Existing boxed copies of Windows XP would be recalled from stores and “refreshed” with SP2, he said. A new box design with a large diagonal label would be introduced to reflect this, so customers could see they were buying the update.
Microsoft Australia senior product marketing manager for Windows XP, Danny Beck, said the recall would include all members of the Windows XP Family: Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Home both commercial and academic versions.
"Windows XP Service Pack 2 is due to be released to manufacturing at the end of July and we anticipate channel stock availability for our retailers and partners in mid-August," he said. "Retailers and partners will be able to rotate their stock back with their distributor under their normal rotation policies."
While retail customers will get SP2 no matter what, OEMs and systems integrators will not be forced to ship the update with PCs.
Templeton said this was because corporate customers wanted to evaluate SP2 before deploying it and therefore OEMs would be able to decide whether to ship systems with XP SP 1 plus updates, or go with the latest service pack.