Spent friday afternoon slipstreaming XP SP2 and then installing it. It was incredibly painless and the install was the same ~45 minutes that I'm used to from an XP installation. Initial thoughts are quite positive. I really liked how after the install it asked me if I wanted to have automatic updates on (with the default set to yes). After selecting that I logged in and was immediately confronted with the security center which informed me that while the firewall was enabled and automatic updates were on, it still felt I was unsafe as I had no virus scanner enabled. Well, no problem, I installed eTrust and everything was happy. So far I've had no problems but I am pretty unhappy about one thing. I could have sworn that when SP2 was announced they were going to up the Pro restriction that you could only have 1 person using the computer at a time (from eitehr the console or remotely logged in) to two connections. That way you could be using the console and have an inbound remote desktop connection. That doesn't appear to be the case and that's incredibly sucky for me given how I manage windows and how I debug and test applications. This is bad enough that I might have to go back to Win2k3. However, I'm going to try this out for a few weeks to see what it's like.
There are a couple of things I would like to see done better. I'd like it if windows came with built in virus scanning. Do something similar to the built in firewall and defragger where you get a basic service provide with the OS but you can always go out and spring for a more full featured version from an ISV if you want. Also, come with some sort of spyware detection software. The current set-up is great for helping to prevent it from getting on the machine, but for those out there who already have been bitten, SP2 won't help (totally) with the stuff that's already on the machine. Having a link to things like ad-aware would be a good start as well.
Of course with all the new features, none of the things that really bother me were fixed yet 🙁
I'm still not able to rearrange items on the taskbar and no Monad shell. Sigh... guess I'll be waiting for longhorn.