The folks over at Cnet’s News.com have a write up on Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, the next major update to the OS due to be released next quarter, and it sounds like Microsoft is truly serious about not only making XP more secure, but making it easier for users to adjust security settings without having to hunt all over the friggin’ OS to find the options.
The biggest change in RC1 is the addition of Windows Security Center, a new tool that simplifies access to security settings in various Windows components, said Greg Sullivan, lead product manager for Microsoft’s Windows division. Instead of having to root through separate “preferences” menus for Internet Explorer, network connections, Windows Update and other tools, Windows Security Center will allow XP users to manage everything from one place.
“The challenge we’re addressing is that today in Windows, if you want to manage the various security settings, there are a bunch of places to go…and it’s not always immediately apparent to even a sophisticated user where those places are,” Sullivan said. “There’s technology in Windows that would protect folks, but we haven’t done a good enough job of making it obvious,”
This will definitely be a welcome addition to the OS as will the new integrated popup blocker in Internet Explorer and the fact that the built-in firewall will default to being activated. Granted, it’s not a great firewall by most standards, but it beats nothing at all.
One more interesting note from the article is mention of some rumors that there could be another version of Windows XP released before Windows Longhorn makes it to store shelves. Rumor has it this interim version would be called Windows XP Reloaded. Hopefully if it comes to pass it’ll be more impressive than the similarly named movie sequel.