Home > Windows > Windows XP Service Pack 2: The Inside Story Windows XP Service Pack 2: The Inside Story Eugenia Loli 2004-12-27 Windows 51 Comments In early December, Paul Thurrot sat down with Todd, Ryan Burkhardt, and Jon Murchinson to discuss XP SP2 and the virtual team that made it happen. Here is their story. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 51 Comments 2004-12-27 9:12 am Hmmm, facinating interview with the people who develop people (i.e. the infamous “Group Leaders” who don’t use ‘I’ when talking to ‘them’): “. . . Internet Explorer, Bluetooth, and Windows Media Player. Those were the things that I self-hosted and I tested and I filed bugs for. And I yelled at people when it didn’t work right. Those were just some of the things that I did . . .” from Todd. I also enjoyed this: “. . . they said they could not make Movie Maker 1 Group Policy enabled. Or, specifically, the ability to disable it. Corporate customers kept telling us they wanted it to be disabled.” Gee, I wonder why Corp. customers didn’t want Move Maker on their 100 workstations? Seriously though, as someone who lusted after being an ace coder in high school and getting a job in a fast-paced computer company, I suppose this interview shows more how these things work. Its one big-ass bureaucracy. 2004-12-27 9:59 am we have some comments here trying make this yet another troll. It seems to me that FLOSS community doesn’t see MS as the monster, and that hurts Lubergh and Anonymous and maybe others. I like colin’s comments, so be happy and stop trolling 2004-12-27 10:27 am “Seriously though, as someone who lusted after being an ace coder in high school and getting a job in a fast-paced computer company, I suppose this interview shows more how these things work. Its one big-ass bureaucracy.” It doesn’t always work out that way. Most large companies and exec’s have their own little world and power struggles going on. Sometimes things work out and sometimes it is a flaming clusters of (insert what ever). And yes, this is from personal experience. “Shhh….we wouldn’t want to let the cat out of the bag. The image of dark underground lairs with trolls cracking whips, and Gates gleefully rubbing his hands while hatching his next evil plan to force people into using the “morally unacceptable” windows is much better for our extremist OSS community.” ” It seems to me that FLOSS community doesn’t see MS as the monster” “Could’ve fooled me.” Now come on all, your doing just a bit of trolling with respect to the FLOSS community. Believe it or not there is a large community that use both commercial and FLOSS. While at the same time not believing that Bill Gates is plotting doom and domination of the universe. Disclaimer: I use various incarnations of *nix commercial and FLOSS as well as a ton of MS products. And for the record I do believe that 1) Competetion is a good thing. 2) Security out of the box is a good thing. 3) Open protocols and file formats are a good thing. 4) Vendor lock-in is bad. IMHO Competetion breeds innovation; in a addition open protocols and file formats aid in competetion. When products have an open nature such as a protocol (TCP/IP) or file formats, then may truely the best product win. Please keep in mind that the source code doesn’t have to be released, just documented. Hey, that how people communicate: tcp/ip, smtp, html (like this page)and so on. 2004-12-27 10:30 am I waited for SP2. I belived SP2 will solve all my Windows problems. However it disappointed me greatly. Practically every application dear to me broke on SP2. So thanks to these guys, i totally gave up on Windows and switched to Linux. I have never been happier. Good job fellas! 2004-12-27 10:35 am SP2 was a good initiative.Security has a significant market.You could wait on MS decision to do a little more then just close some holes and fix everything that can be fixed.It’s a pity the question why the implementation took so long wasn’t asked.That aside,unfortunately with windows you allways have to wait for an successor to be released if you want some innovation or additional features.Unlike (F)OSS there’s hardly any momentum of visable product innovation or additional features in the make,besides postponed release dates.You can perform any task on a windows platform that you can on many others.However there’s far to few security apps that go beyond SP2,there’s no possibility to harden windows kernel,not realy anything worth it’s salt exist to protect executable memory besides the stack,no heap protection,etc.The acl system in windows is good but i don’t expect the average user to make sec policies,why haven’t they made a couple of default policies that can be switched on in security center?Such as default,average,secure,paranoid with clear info on side effects?Why no anti spyware included?The windows update service could run on a ssh or similar server.Why aren’t the windows update packages not gpg signed?Why doesn’t the update process use ssl or ssh connection as default connection.Why does more then 90% of all software you download for windows not have a md5sum or gpg signature with which you can verify the authenticity of stuff you download? 2004-12-27 10:45 am Is it possible to disable Compact Framework.Net in Windows Mobile 2003 /pocket pc 2003. It comes bundled with the OS and kinda slows down some functions of my c++ application and also the reboot. 2004-12-27 11:32 am I suppose there are about 5 interesting software companies left that are still fun places to work (i.e. id seems to still only involve about 10 dedicated people per project) for every one Microsoft, it just seems to me that this whole interview is taking the approach of: “Isn’t it great what these managers managed to whip out of their developers?” And in that, more civilized sense, I think this still shows MS with the whips and the dungeon, even if its a socially acceptable dungeon. After all, where are the interviews with the coders who worked their asses off to get SP2 out the door? PS. is it just me or is Todd Wanke looking like a really cool, hip guy in his mug shot? Where’s the cool hip mug shot of Linus in his hoodie? 2004-12-27 12:49 pm Yeah they build SP2 on top of XP. And other systems, like windows 2000? When you have Citrix you can only switch to W2003, and some program doesn’t run on W2003. So the Citrix users are stuck with the old buggy IE6. Thats a bad thing. 2004-12-27 1:14 pm I can say I see Microsoft as a monster in relation to business or programming practices. 2004-12-27 1:17 pm SP2 makes things better, but Windows still suffers from some fundamental design flaws that really make it more vulnerable to attack than other operating systems (like Linux or Mac OS X). One example is the fact that they have tied the web browser to the core operating system. While this was good for Microsoft’s market share goals, it is a terrible idea from a security point of view. Internet Explorer is a nightmare when it comes to security, and SP2 doesn’t address many of its core problems. Many Windows applications are designed to run with Administrator privileges, and as such, most Windows users run as an Administrator, which exposes their systems to a lot of unecessary risk. There are others as well, including some we don’t even know about, because the vast majority of people don’t even know how Windows really works, as the source code is a closely guarded secret. Windows as a platform does have its advantages and its strong points, but security is not close to being one of them. Microsoft still gets an ‘F’ from me on this issue. 2004-12-27 1:20 pm The reason why one must make the distinction between “Virtual Team” and “Team” is that they are not the same thing. I have worked in a different technology industry (electronic design) for a few years (7). I have experienced worst managers on the face of the Earth and some of the best. Notice how of course the “Virtual Team” does not include even 1 technical developer (in this case a coder or former coder) or Senior Engineer. The project was instead run by Business managers and those who have skills like “communicating with execs.” While having someone with a clear line of communication to the execs is critical so that company politics don’t kill a project, having an experienced devloper to set the realistic scope of the project and deliverables makes a hell of a lot more sense than a manager. Managers should just stick to bean counting. “Virtual Team” still employs a pecking order and bureauocracy despite the fact that the word “team” is used. People who use the term “Virtual Team” were probably told to do so by a company wide program, sponsored by an outside firm that specializes in marketing industry buzz-words that are completely logical to reasonable people but totally alien to managers with no people skills or conscience, umm I mean “Team-building.” Note the initial reaction to SP2: just enable the firewall by default. Making the full assumption that the firewall actually works as intended without checking ANYTHING OR ANYONE LIKE THOSE WHO CODED IT. Of course our boy at MS knew that the firewall didn’t work. How come he was the only higher-up that knew that? Was he the only one? Is there a large disconnect between senior management and the developers? Of course there is, this exists everywhere. Anyway, it sounds like our boy at MS did the right thing by polling all those who had a security fix and meshing them together in a timeline on a schedule for upper management to digest. This does sound an awful lot like the way OSS “gets done,” and to think that many OSS “Project Leaders” (a Project Leader is a Project Manager + Developer who only gets credit and pay for Development work, but who has the full responsibility of Project Management because HIS managers are too busy day trading while at work.) The fact that he was able to stretch a 3month project into a 1yr project is pretty amazing considering how budgets at software companies usually go (most people are scoffed at for increasing a timescale by a factor of 4x espeically for a “patch” which generates no additional revenue and which I’m sure that some execs there feel end-users should pay for like 98se or 95b OSR2. The first thing I think of when I read “Virtual Team” was this: Virtual Team: (Noun) Describes the shifting of responsibility from one person to several, in the form of a committee, should the task assigned to the team not meet expectations. A good read overall to see how things “get done” at microsoft. 2004-12-27 1:38 pm I waited for SP2. I belived SP2 will solve all my Windows problems. However it disappointed me greatly. Practically every application dear to me broke on SP2. So thanks to these guys, i totally gave up on Windows and switched to Linux. I have never been happier. Good job fellas! So now your broken applications are working in Linux, and because of that you’re very happy. Am I right? 2004-12-27 2:04 pm Yes, I have to unfortunately agree with PM’s and anyone that has to report status to him/her. They are the ones that allegedly drive the project and extract every ounce of ones soles to get something done. With the majority of the time taking credit for something they didn’t do while blaming others for something that they did do. Personal note: I have never found a really good PM that works with the issues. They are just the ones how just like to escalate to your boss’ boss. And yes, the PM’s typically go home early while the others stay late. Sorry, if your one of the legit PM’s in the world. It just hasn’t been in my experience. 2004-12-27 3:11 pm “Interesting to see that those MS-guys aren’t the Quake3-Monsters, Hitler-clones or whatever the OSS community wants them to be …” The MS guys in the interview were in charge of development rather than marketing. It’s the guys who play the FUD games and the guys who decide to introduce gratuitous complexities and incompatibilities who are the real problem. 2004-12-27 3:17 pm Roel: Not really. I largely stopped using them altogether. But it gave me a push to look for alternatives that might work better and cost much cheaper. It gave me an opportunity to fix things for myself, rather than wait for service pack after service pack. 2004-12-27 3:22 pm You have to wonder what on Earth Microsoft were thinking with SP2, but I think a lot of it is down to how Windows is designed. I’ve got Windows XP SP1 on an old Duron Laptop, and it has always run very, very well for a long time. SP2 makes the thing run like an absolute dog, and applications are as slow as hell. Oh, and the security. Well, that consists of automatic updates being turned on to download at 10 in the morning every day, and if you turn it off it complains like buggery with that shield and a pop warning that you can’t readily turn off which annoys the hell out of you. I for one sleep much better with all that hard work – a big thanks. Paul: That’s what happened on Windows Server as well. Turn on the firewall and watch everything break. Well that’s a really brilliantly designed system. Calling this RC1 and not [a beta release]. The reason we called it RC1 was that we wanted people to think that we were serious. I find that statement shocking in all honesty, and gives an insight into the ridiculous way in which they develop (if you can call it that) software. Now, how can we tweak that … and preserve some form of application compatibility? OK, that’s me never using SP2. The crap these people come out with is just incredible. And if you want to spew your insides out, try and talk to any sort of executive manager at Microsoft. 2004-12-27 3:30 pm you have to be so cognizant of making sure you don’t fix one-off problems, but that you actually fix the symptoms And I think you find a large chunk of Microsoft’s problems there – stop fixing the symptoms, and find a way to fix the disease instead. It’s like somebody having the plague being given a cream to stop the boils the itching. 2004-12-27 3:40 pm You don’t have to think everyone in microsoft is evil for MS to be evil. To almost a person they probably are good people and want the best. Evil is an emergent property. It arises out of the corporate culture and the ecological niche in which decisions are made. All the decisions are rational within the frame, but can appear evil in a different frame. 2004-12-27 5:48 pm and it’s not like that firewall is that good either: http://www.firewallleaktester.com/tests.htm and @Chris Dunphy – repeat after me, IE is not part of the kernel, why do people still believe that crap?! 2004-12-27 6:40 pm Oh, and the security. Well, that consists of automatic updates being turned on to download at 10 in the morning every day, and if you turn it off it complains like buggery with that shield and a pop warning that you can’t readily turn off which annoys the hell out of you. Of course you can turn off those warnings. Control Panel->Security Center then select the “Change the way Security Center alerts me” option. You can turn off all 3 warnings about having the various parts disabled. Cuh. Don’t tell me you’re another whiner who doesn’t know how to use the OS properly. 2004-12-27 6:45 pm “@Chris Dunphy – repeat after me, IE is not part of the kernel, why do people still believe that crap?! ” So you can actually remove IE totally from windows and have it work properly? (Not just cut off but actually remove IE) ? 2004-12-27 7:14 pm yes, ubcd for example uses windows xp’s kernel and system files (think of it as a windows live cd) and doesn’t include IE, it has K-Meleon: http://www.ubcd4win.com/ 2004-12-27 8:06 pm My displeasure stems mostly from the docile nature of the interviewer. Where are the hard questions like… 1) When are these security improvements for 2K going to be released? Since 2K Pro and Server are more widely deployed than XP/2003, more users would benefit from your effort. 2) Where is the option to have SP2 uninstall MS bloatware: IE, Media Player, Movie Maker, etc? Wouldn’t that improve security? ‘Lite’ versions of windows will be available in the EU, why not the US? 3) Why was this ‘commitment to security’ not applied before XP was released? The entire article reads like a MS press release. They expect applause an accolades for a patch that breaks more than it fixes, leaves vulnerable apps operating and is composed completely of undocumented, proprietary code. Well here is a big sarcastic ‘w007!’ for you. Respectfully, J450n PS Dual boot SUSe9.1/win2kSP4 w/ Firefox on both OSs. 2004-12-27 8:15 pm Thurott is the biggest Microsoft suckup on the planet. He’s also wrong on just about every prediction he has ever made. Ask him how many more layers of security it is going to take to make Windows even reasonably secure and how much more thats going to bog down the OS. Why doesn’t XP2’s firewall block outgoing traffic like every other software firewall? When is Microsoft going to make IE into a decent browser? Never mind, I’d rather use Firefox anyway. 2004-12-27 10:21 pm >So you can actually remove IE totally from windows and have it work properly? By the same logic, up2date in Red Hat Linux Server is part of the Linux kernel. If not, try to remove it totally and have Red Hat Linux Server work properly with updates and patches and so on. Repeat after me: integral part of the OS does not have to be part of the kernel of that OS. Repeat after me: kernel is not OS. OS is not just kernel. 2004-12-27 10:50 pm Even if you couldn’t remove IE from Windows and still have it work, why would that mean it was part of the kernel? If you rpm -e –nodeps glibc on your Linux system it probably won’t work very well either, but glibc ain’t part of the kernel… 2004-12-27 10:52 pm The most telling phrase of the entire article for me was ‘security feature’. Microsoft’s so hung up on the concept of the feature that the way it develops a big patch intended to improve the systems security is to implement ‘security features’. I guess it was this kind of thinking that brought us the Security Centre… 2004-12-27 11:48 pm Cuh. Don’t tell me you’re another whiner who doesn’t know how to use the OS properly. Well stone me. There’s me thinking that if I turn off automatic updates it won’t actually give me those stupid warnings, but I then have to turn them off all over again . Of course you’re someone who thinks that this utter pointlessness improves the security of Windows….. 2004-12-27 11:54 pm By the same logic, up2date in Red Hat Linux Server is part of the Linux kernel. If not, try to remove it totally and have Red Hat Linux Server work properly with updates and patches and so on. You have no clue what you’re talking about, or how something like Red Hat is structured. You can remove the up2date stuff on a Red Hat server and it will still work – you’ll just have to do it manually or find some other way of updating. If you try and remove IE, absolutely nothing works. Can I download components for Windows for the core OS myself so I update it, as I can with a Red Hat server or any Linux distribution? Errr, no. Repeat after me: integral part of the OS does not have to be part of the kernel of that OS. Non-integral software frequently is with Microsoft. Should SQL Server be a part of the kernel? That’s what happens when you install it, and its to get over the piss poor performance. 2004-12-28 1:21 am Ah….Mac… Ah…Linux… Microsoft should of been broken up into smaller companies by the government. They would of hated it at the time, but it would of been the best thing to happen to them. Companies this size always die. Always. They can’t innovate at this size. They can’t react to the market well at this size. Since MS came late to the Internet, missed the importance of search, the digital hub, etc., I would say we are seeing the slow but inevitable end. It will take decades. But it will happen. 2004-12-28 1:35 am ‘They can’t innovate at this size. They can’t react to the market well at this size. Since MS came late to the Internet, missed the importance of search, the digital hub, etc., I would say we are seeing the slow but inevitable end.’ Where did you come up with this, MS is still growing and the fact they are making money. You know, people thought the same about IBM and several other ‘Big and old’ tech companies. Next time, before posting half-truths try to read the facts. With your viewpoint in a company I am sure it would fail, all that negative energy. geez 2004-12-28 2:05 am “Internet Explorer does make kernel calls.” Directly or indirectly every program does, that doesn’t mean IE runs in kernel space. 2004-12-28 2:36 am Yes, and IBM went from being the dominant manufacturer of desktop computers to selling its PC business to China. People forecast the demise of IBM’s PC division, and they were correct. IBM is still a sucessful company, but it’s not the same company it was in 1985. 2004-12-28 2:50 am You are obviously one of the many paid shills that populate online forums. You people sicken me. I would LOVE to get paid for something like that. Come on a forum like this, make you little panty waist geeks scream bloody murder and collect a paycheck. SIGN ME UP! 2004-12-28 4:10 am I love it, you tell me to go to go to a non-existent Control Panel called Security center to turn off the endless MS warnings. Well there is no Security Center CP installed, so your little snide Mr-Know-It-All attitude is pointlessly misguided. I had to go to Admin tools an kill a process called Security Center before I could get the peace and quiet to get work done, without feeling the need to take a sledgehammer to the system. Why does MS insist on Look-at-Me I’m-So-Important-to-You features like Mr. Clippy and other MS Bob-like crap. I feel their superior-to-thou attitude totally inappropiate. I hope you and they get their emergency medical care from the interns that consider every patient is a “gomer”. Poetic justice. 2004-12-28 4:33 am If there was no Security Center control panel aapplet, there’s something wrong with your XP SP2 installation. 2004-12-28 7:54 am If we want to force MS to remove IE and Media Player from windows, it would be fair to prohibit shipping such software with operating systems at all. Right? Here come distroes w/o xine, mplayer, totem, xmms, bmp, mozilla, konqueror, w3m, links etc. Here come mobile phones w/o browsers. Here come palms w/o kinoma. Is that what you want done? BTW, I do hate MS for the way they treat security in their systems. But, still… 2004-12-28 8:49 am I didn’t question MS’s ability to make money or grow. Please pay attention. I questioned their ability to bring innovative products to market, which they have not done. And the making money only comes from Windows and Office, two monopolies that were ill-gained. Proof? 1. A convicted company by both the US and the EU. Charges still pending in other countries. 2. Can you name a product outside of MS Bob that is innovative and they didn’t buy? Sorry, but MS apologists should pick your fights better; and Microsoft being an innovative company simply isn’t one of them. 2004-12-28 9:03 am I realize most people who hate windows, don’t use it or try to interact with it as little as possible when forced. Instead these people find other operating systems to grow intimately acquainted with and customize how they like. However most people who “move on from windows” tend to retain their past experiences as a reference point and then only pick up second hand information that is egosyntonic to their decision. It seems to me people hate windows because of these bundled applications: IE, OE, Windows Messenger, Windows Media Player, and Movie Maker. I almost never hear someone say “I hate windows because of NTFS/EFS”, “Windows sucks because I despise its memory management”, “I want to kill whoever wrote the windows priority scheduler”. None of these bundled applications are integral for Windows to function in any way. My definition of integral being that you can’t replace a certain part with something you like better that still does the same task. Obviously if I remove IE and don’t install a web browser I’m losing functionality. Its possible to completely remove all of these things; IE, IE’s rendering engine, OE, WMP, Windows Messenger, and Movie Maker. I’ve done it myself. There are even 3rd party utilities that will do it for you. Ultimately allowing someone to drop in whatever application they prefer for the job instead without having redundant programs all over the place. As a small side note, most people point at IE and then say removing it makes the system crash which sometimes sounds like they were trying to remove the explorer shell. However, even removing the explorer shell doesn’t kill the system if you replace it with a different shell of your choice like LiteStep or BlackBox for Windows. Its entirely possible to run windows without most of the things people generally complain about. At the moment on my desktop I the programs I use to replace the standard installed middleware are: -Windows XP SP2 -Black Box with explorer shell removed -Firefox with IE/IE’s Rendering Engine removed -Thunderbird with OE removed -Movie Maker and Windows Messenger removed -WMP simply plays WMA/WMV files -ZoneAlarm runs instead of WF -Windows Update (doesn’t update things not installed) I could install trillian if I needed an IM client, and there are plenty of 3rd party movie applications. I just don’t need them. Am I missing any functionality with my replacements? I can only think of one instance – w/o the IE rendering engine WMP can’t browse the web on its own for me to look at MS’s music store. (Not too much of an issue for me since I own an iPod, otherwise I could just leave the IE rendering engine dll.) In all honesty if you were presented with a computer that ran windows with those application substitutions what would you have to still hate in windows? 2004-12-28 2:30 pm “You can remove the up2date stuff on a Red Hat server and it will still work – you’ll just have to do it manually or find some other way of updating.” That’s very lame argument. If *you* know what you are talking about, then demonstrate how one can remove up2date from Red Hat Linux Server and still be able to get updates/patches/upgrades, automatically, from Red Hat Network. After all, someone is paying up to $1,500 per CPU annually for Red Hat Linux Server patches. Saying “find some other way” does not cut it. “If you try and remove IE, absolutely nothing works.” Can boot into OS. Can go to Start/Run and type cmd and open DOS windows. Can run DOS Norton File Manager from the DOS window. Can use Norton File Manager to modify files, and start applications. Sure can run MS Office applications from Start/Programs. Can run FireFox from Start/Programs. Can run Notepad. List goes on and on of what I can do and can run. Can not run anything that depends on default browser component. Saying that “absolutely nothing works” is an example of blind zealotry, or just lack of familiarity with the subject. “Can I download components for Windows for the core OS myself so I update it” Not sure what do you mean by that. I know I can download all updates provided by the Microsoft to its OS. If you have problem, talk to someone who really uses Windows and understands how something like OS is structured. I can see that you have lack of practical experience working with Windows. “Non-integral software frequently is with Microsoft.” Yes, Microsoft often bundles non-core software with the OS. It confuses some people who think that bundling software is same as making it part of the kernel. Repeat after me: OS is not just kernel. It is, by the way, Microsoft model: give people more for less. Still, Windows fits CD (half of one CD, actually), while some Linux distros are about to come on multiple DVDs. You don’t have problem with non-integral software thrown at Linux users, don’t you? Also, Microsoft developers, like any other developer should, reuse components. It would be dumb, no, really really dumb, to say “hey, some smartass could remove HTML rendering control which comes by default with the OS, so lets write our own, statically link it to our component, and then support it all the way.” That is dumb, I repeat. 2004-12-28 4:26 pm That’s very lame argument. If *you* know what you are talking about, then demonstrate how one can remove up2date from Red Hat Linux Server and still be able to get updates/patches/upgrades, automatically, from Red Hat Network. Oh dear. You can’t remove up2date and still get patches from Red Hat (well you could, but you’d have to install them yourself), but you can update it yourself. You can’t remove Windows Update from Windows at all, nor could you get updates yourself even if you could. Try reading properly the next time. Can boot into OS. Can go to Start/Run and type cmd and open DOS windows. Can run DOS Norton File Manager from the DOS window. Can use Norton File Manager to modify files, and start applications. I’d love to know how you can do that when you cannot remove any of the Internet Explorer components from the system. Not sure what do you mean by that. I know I can download all updates provided by the Microsoft to its OS. I mean I can physically update the system myself, and see exactly what the dependencies are within the core of the OS. Yes, Microsoft often bundles non-core software with the OS. It confuses some people who think that bundling software is same as making it part of the kernel. Did you learn to read at school? That was a response to non-integral software being integrated with the kernel. SQL Server does that (hardly an integral part) because its performance is so damn poor. If you’re going to answer, don’t side-step the issues. Repeat after me: OS is not just kernel. Since you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re saying that to yourself. You don’t have problem with non-integral software thrown at Linux users, don’t you? No, because I can actually fully remove all of that software and choose whether I want to install it or not. I can’t do that with Windows Media Player or Internet Explorer and Windows. Has this stupidity come on recently, or has it always been this way? Also, Microsoft developers, like any other developer should, reuse components. Yer, and? It would be dumb, no, really really dumb, to say “hey, some smartass could remove HTML rendering control which comes by default with the OS, so lets write our own, statically link it to our component, and then support it all the way.” That is dumb, I repeat. Doesn’t mean anything. 2004-12-28 9:21 pm How long have some of you been using Windows? Just start yesterday? You can FULLY remove these apps (OE, IE, WMP, etc… hell, even the Explorer shell) so that there is NO trace of them anywhere with either XP lite, or you can manually edit the registry to enable the ability to uninstall these things. But do you really want to go back to a Windows95 style desktop shell? Can you remove Konquerer’s integration with KDE without getting rid of KDE itself? It just simply boggles my mind what some of you come up with that makes absolutely no sense at all. 2004-12-28 9:25 pm You can’t remove Windows Update from Windows at all, nor could you get updates yourself even if you could. You can remove it via internet options by click “Settings” and then “View Objects”, right click and remove it – gone. Why you would want to do this is beyond me considering its such a cakewalk to use. You could download everything manually from technet but its a lot of screwing around when the tools to do it automatically are there. In short managing it yourself dosen’t make much sense. If you are using XP in an IT enviroment then you can use WUS (Windows Update Services) to manage your workstation updates from a central server. 2004-12-28 9:31 pm There are multitudes of average XP users who would like to delete IE6 because they now prefer Firefox. Removing IE6 for those typical non-techie users is not easy since the Add/Remove CP doesn’t get it done. Windows is a byzantine architecture that certainly needs a re-think/re-do….. 2004-12-29 12:32 am [quote]Windows is a byzantine architecture that certainly needs a re-think/re-do…..[/quote] I’d have to disagree. Again you’re minimizing an entire OS to a single application. Just because IE is not obviously uninstallable from the CP does not make all of Windows byzantine. You’ve not actually complained about any part of the operating system – instead you’re relying on some blanket notion that everything made my MS _must_ be a part of the operating system. There are plenty of applications that do not show up in the Add/Remove CP – Norton Commander, most command line applications, and most legacy applications circa win95. Does this make the Windows operating system broken? Most reasonable people would say that the application is just not conforming to standard windows application practice. (It just so happens MS is the one creating the non-compliant application.) One good reason for it not to be present in the add/remove menu is because there are a multitude of applications that link to IE’s rendering engine. Do you honestly believe that your standard user, who you believe cannot remove IE as it is now, will be savvy enough to handle errors from other programs that link to IE’s render engine? I don’t think so. However if you do find one that can, I’d also like to know if they can handle pulling KHTML from KDE and making everything automagically work with Geko. 2004-12-29 1:36 am “And for some of us it boggles the mind what drivel we have to listen to from Windows fanatics or even that Windows fanatics exist, that some of you are just lined up to kiss Bill Gates’ arse. Maybe Longhorn will redeem them, but all of you know XP is crap.” So, you want people to tell you that you can’t remove IE or whatever from windows even if it’s not true just for the sake of making it look bad? 2004-12-29 3:01 am 1) When are these security improvements for 2K going to be released? Since 2K Pro and Server are more widely deployed than XP/2003, more users would benefit from your effort. 2) Where is the option to have SP2 uninstall MS bloatware: IE, Media Player, Movie Maker, etc? Wouldn’t that improve security? ‘Lite’ versions of windows will be available in the EU, why not the US? 3) Why was this ‘commitment to security’ not applied before XP was released? 1. I dont know if it would have been worth it for 2K or Server. It seems that mostly the people that use Win 2K are businesses and such, and they probably have someone that is in charge of taking care of them, along with taking the proper steps to keep the systems secure. Most home users of Windows 2K that I know seemed to know enough about computers to keep them secure. Same goes for Windows Server. IMO, the only people that really benefit from SP2 are home users, and I am fairly certain that most users that arent running Windows XP are using 98 or ME, not Windows 2K. 2. And how is Media Player or Movie Maker a security risk? Bloatware? I would think that Movie Maker was the opposite of bloat ware. Its absolutely useless. You can always delete any short cuts to these two progams. I did so on Movie Maker, and completely forgot it existed. Problem solved. If its taking up that much space that you need to worry about it, then you might need a bigger hard drive. IE I will admit has its problems… I think SP2 disabled much of Active X, which seems to be the root of many of IE’s problems. I will say for the record I havent had a problem with viruses, trojans, or spyware while using IE. How does XP Lite relate to XP2? 3. Dont know about that one. Maybe before XP, it wasnt as much of a problem as it was now? Especially now that more people are going online, we are now seeing a problem occur that wasnt around before? If MS is listening to its customers, and they never stressed security back then, why spend your resources on it? 2004-12-29 6:32 am Server 2003 will receive XP SP2’s updates in an SP1 release which is currently in beta. 2004-12-29 7:01 am Well, that whole article seemed more like a press release to me. I don’t really give a damn what they went through to get it done. I just want to know how well it works. As a former programmer myself, I am well aware of how difficult it is to get large projects done. I’m not interested in hearing how tough it is for someone else to do that. 2004-12-29 6:20 pm Microsoft apologists should remember that the “IE cannot be removed from the system” myth comes not from ignorant anti-MS zealots but from MS itself. I believe, the myth was a part of the company’s court filing during the famous 2002 MS-related hearings. 2004-12-29 7:53 pm Microsoft never said IE couldn’t physically be removed from Windows, they said that too many things rely on IE to just remove it. Like it or not, IE is a sort of API, if you will. All developers know that IE is there, and as such they can (and do) make calls to the render engine from their application. There are many many applications that would break if IE was to be removed from the system, inlcuding pieces of the OS itself, like the help system.