Product manager Barry Goffe told Computer Times that Microsoft "haven't explicitly done anything to SP2 to exclude it from pirated copies". Whereas SP1 had features built in to prevent pirates from downloading it, the SP2 patch can be installed on all XP computers.
One of the main reasons Microsoft is making the SP2 patch open to all users is the increasing risk of trojans and worms being spread online. Not only does this have an effect on the infected computer, but on the rest of the internet as a whole, Microsoft says.
The SP2 includes a built in firewall, which will be turned on by default, that automatically locks ports common for worm-writers to use. Another feature with the upgrade is a much more aggressive patching and updating system - instead of Windows pop-ups politely (but annoyingly) asking you to get updates, you'll be constantly harassed until you do.
A nice little touch to the pack is the introduction of an anti-pop-up feature for Internet Explorer, which may turn a few customers back from the likes of Firefox and Opera.
Free CD copies of SP2 will also be made available. However, users may have to pay for shipping. µ
Computer Times Asia