Microsoft has delayed the public availability of its first major update of Windows XP until next week.
According to the company's website, the service pack will be available to download from 9 September.
The pack includes new features mandated by US courts, various bug fixes and support for Windows Media Center PCs and the Tablet PC.
The latter will be released in November and is a notebook hybrid that allows people to input text by writing on the display with a stylus.
Service Pack 1 consolidates previously released operating system updates, and adds USB 2.0 device drivers and the .Net Framework. The pack also contains the new version of Windows Messenger.
The update adds a new control for setting default middleware, such as web browser and media player software, which has been ordered as a result of Microsoft's pending antitrust settlement with the Justice Department and nine US states.
Would-be pirates should be prevented from downloading the service pack due to the Product Activation feature. It won't install on Windows XP copies using an unofficial number.
The first computers with the updated version of Windows XP pre-installed are expected to be available in early October either as Windows XP Home Edition, Professional Edition or 64-bit Edition.
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