Microsoft Corp. has no plans to port the security and feature enhancements due in Windows XP Service Pack 2, now in final beta testing, to older versions of Windows.
The decision means that enterprises running older versions of Windows will be less secure and more vulnerable to attacks than those running XP systems that upgrade to the latest service pack, which includes many security improvements.
Microsoft officials in Redmond, Wash., last week said the company’s focus is on shipping a high-quality SP2 release to customers. It is, however, leaving the door open to supporting older versions and is evaluating the technical feasibility of such an endeavor.
During a recent Webcast for system builders and PC and server vendors that sell products preloaded with Microsoft software, Microsoft officials had no comment on whether the features in SP2 will be available for other operating systems or older versions of Internet Explorer.
And while sources said the company is working on a plan for older systems, users running older Windows versions or specific programs should expect a piecemeal approach to SP2’s security-minded features.