Microsoft has been making changes to its second service pack for Windows XP in light of customer feedback.
Release Candidate 2 (RC2) of the service pack was officially released on 15 June and feedback from beta testers has resulted in changes both to the user interface and to functionality.
"RC2 is giving back some of that flexibility we may have subsumed in the need for better security," said Geoff Hill of Microsoft's premier support for developers group.
"One of the product managers back at Redmond has a pendulum with security at one end and usability on the other. It's all about getting the balance right."
Warning boxes have been reworked to be more user friendly, and the default settings for downloading code are automatically set to deny downloads.
When users try and download an attachment a new text box explains simply what they need to be aware of. Hitting return will automatically refuse the download, unlike the current default settings.
An add-on control has been installed so that applications will not automatically download upgrades or plug-ins. Currently applications can automatically download an upgrade or plug-in, and hackers can exploit this.
The pop-up blocker has also been changed to allow varying degrees of protection. Users can now choose to allow or disallow pop-up adverts, but can still allow pop-ups from trusted sites.
Microsoft has given no firm release date for the final 80MB of code beyond "this summer".
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