Comments on XP SP2

Here are my reflections on the comments posted to Take a service stop and clean your windows

 I somehow do not understand your point. If you have done soo much work to make your system better and more secure, you must know that there are many things you cannot fix yourself, because it is in the code. You can set up your own perimeter around your machine(s), set permissions to a very strict level, but the fixes in the code are a good thing. The Firewall and popup blocker can be turned off if you have your own solutions, and that is just fine. But you should not underestimate the rest of the work that has been done in XP SP2.

And you know Windows XP was not designed as a secure system, Service Pack 2 actually fixes that.

And a Mac seems a pretty good contender these days. I watched Steve Jobs keynote too, and I'm impressed. Good marketing, good stuff, but not for me, to expensive, it means a complete re-purchase of all my hard/software, it means I only have to option of buying what is available in 1 store, the Mac Center. The prices are fixed, the choice is limited. I would also need to retrain myself, all new usage skills, new developer tools, and remember; no OS is without flaws.

Mr Tyrone Enright,
 I leave your post as an example of how people get too emotional about the choice of an OS. And ofcourse we are not programmers, we have our monkeys for that, no 😉 If you want to get to know some of them, go visit You might notice that it was not 'Mr Gates' that wrote the OS, but real people that work hard too.

I can only comment on the fact that the listed applications that seem to have problems, do often work in whole after proper configuration of your security settings. For many of these apps, what this really means is that these apps expose your PC to the outside and potetionally pose a future security risk.
And if you really want to be tabloid about XP SP2, well, i'm sure you could list a 10000 apps, or even more. Just dig back in time...

And for those apps that really break, I still say that it is the vendor that needs to provide the fix,  read on...

I fully completely agree with you, but...

PCs are being used by just about everyone, and how many people do you know that read the instruction manual of *any* electronic device (TV, Video, DVD player, Microwave, etc..)
Ignorance is the reality of life, and that is exactly the reason why XP SP2 needs to be tough, even if that means breaking some applications. Apart from my dad and an uncle, there is no-one in my family that has the tech-spirit of RTFM. To my other family members, things work, or they don't. (and they always refer to all of their devices as 'things') And if things do not work, its the thing-vendor that will need to fix it. Either by just telling them, its in the documentation on page x, or just by explaining them the instructions (often when the documentation has been thrown out together with the packaging). Or by actually coming into your home and fix the 'thing'.
This is where in my opinion, we tech-folk have made the BIG mistake. We expect people to have the same attitude as we have, and have coded software for it that way. But as you point out, Joe Blow computer user, clicks first and thinks (or reflects upon the damage) later. This is where we as software designers need to think how we can either 1) get Joe Blow to think before acting, by providing clear information/instructions up front or 2) prevent and attempt to protect Joe Blow from doing possible dangerous actions without thinking. It is a big mindset change in developing software. For me this is the essence of the TWC initiative. Getting software developers/architects to change their mindset.

So at this point in time Microsoft needed to bite the bullet and make XP as secure as they possibly can, today. Even if that means breaking some applications. Those will get fixed again, do not worry! If not, I would not trust that vendor for long anymore. And more fixes from Microsoft will come, as over time, other possible means of exploiting software will arise, ways that at this point in time we cannot foresee.


Anyone who has bothered to set up a firewall, block ports, etc. I consider them to be tech-heads. I bet you do not open unsollicited e-mails, never open attachements from people you do not know, do not 'click Yes' just to get rid of those annoying ActiveX popups, etc. You know how a computer works, you are not the one at risk. At home I myself have a wireless router with build-in firewall and I had Norton Internet security running for a few years now. I have rebuilt one of my machines (finding I could no longer install Norton) and have been running with the Internet Connection Firewall on, and a simple av program. Me too, I have NEVER been infected by any sort of virus, spyware, trojan, whatever. But when I monitor the external ports of my wireless router, I notice plenty of hacking attempts going on, its is really amazing. And most of these come from PCs of users that are not tech-heads. These PCs have been infected by some trojans, acting as dummy for all sorts of attacks. These people need to be made aware XP SP2 is the best thing for them since sliced bread. Why? So we as tech-heads can open up the ports we want without being port-scanned all over the place. So we regain the freedom to do interesting things without having to fear a massive ddos.


Comments (2)
  1. Paschal says:

    Good comments Rudi, but SP2 is far from being perfect and alsready I can tell that spyware and trojan companies have already found a way to bypass the securities.

    I am not an average user and I trusted SP2 when after just one day after the patch installed and firewall setup, the PC has been attacked by a DSO exploit crap.

    Now their code seems to be so good that they found a way to allow themselves iun the popup blocker proudly built as perfect solution by Microsoft :-((

    Check my blog for more information. So now I am not sure anymore if MS can fix really the security holes. Maybe an idea could be for them to work more closely with the industry security specialists. Maybe also hiring one of those evil-genius spyware developers !

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