Over 180 million computer users have downloaded Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), and Microsoft said today at the InfoSec Europe event that it is working to make life more secure for those using non-XP systems.
Nick McGrath, Microsoft's head of platform strategy, told vnunet.com that almost all computers now shipping come with SP2 bundled, and that downloads of the patch were continuing apace.
"We are trying to build the best security ecosystem we can," he said. "Meanwhile we have been reaching out to the manufacturers to make sure customers get the latest software on new machines."
McGrath rejected criticism that those using non-XP systems have been abandoned to an insecure future.
He pointed out that good security is as dependent on good procedures and practices as it is on software.
McGrath explained that Microsoft has a whole section on its website explaining good procedures, from highly technical white papers to training videos that any home user can understand.
He added that the process of consolidating the number of different patching mechanisms is now complete. This, and more testing of patches before release, is giving companies more confidence over patching, he claimed.
"We are starting to see companies moving to automatic deployment of patches," said McGrath.
"As each patch is a unique identifier and can be easily pulled if it causes conflict, managers have confidence in that. With the speed at which patches are reverse engineered this type of automation will make IT managers' lives easier."
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