HelpWithWindows Newsletter Volume 9, Number 23
November 25, 2006

In this issue:

Windows XP Service Pack 3

by Arie Slob

Hello Windows users,

Windows Media Player 11 OK, Windows Vista has been released for manufacturing, so when are we going to see a Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Windows XP?

According to Microsoft, current planning is in the first half of 2008. This is completely ridiculous (to put it mildly!). SP2 was released in August 2004, that's already over 27 months ago.

Microsoft should just release a service pack as service packs used to be: an accumulation of previously released fixes. If you would buy a new copy of Windows XP today (which has SP2 included), and you'd visit Windows Update, you'll need close to 70 critical updates, well over 50 MB. On its Windows Service Pack Road Map Web page Microsoft notes that: "Microsoft continually works to improve its software. As part of this effort, we develop updates and fixes to recognized issues and release them for customers. On a regular basis, we combine many of these fixes into a single package and make the package available for installation. These packages are called Service Packs."

Well, they seem to have a weird notion of "regular". SP1 for Windows XP was released in September 2002, just over a year after the initial Windows XP release. SP2 was released in August 2004, nearly two years after SP1. And now we've been told that SP3 will probably not happen before some three and-a-half years have passed after the SP2 release.

Last April, at the National Data Security Day in Sweden, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Microsoft was considering releasing Windows XP SP3 before Longhorn (now Windows Vista) shipped. Windows Vista was at that time expected to ship in the second or third quarter of 2006. Microsoft has not commented on the reason why SP3 is being delayed, leading to speculations that it wants to help stimulate upgrade demand for Windows Vista.

Microsoft Security

Microsoft Windows Security Bulletin Summary for November, 2006

The security update for November 2006 includes five fixes for Microsoft Windows and one for Internet Explorer.

Severity Rating: Critical

Severity Rating: Important

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Windows User State Migration Tool (USMT) version 3.0

Microsoft Windows User State Migration Tool (USMT) version 3.0 migrates user files and settings during deployments of Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista. You can use USMT to perform unattended migrations and to migrate files and settings for computers with multiple users. Also, with USMT you have the ability to encrypt and compress the store. USMT 3.0 is intended for administrators who are performing automated deployments.

This tool includes two command-line tools named ScanState and LoadState. ScanState creates an intermediate store that contains the user files and settings from the source computer. LoadState restores these files and settings to the destination computer.

USMT 3.0 also has three default migration rule (.xml) files named MigApp.xml, MigUser.xml, and MigSys.xml. You can alter the default .xml files and you can also create customized .xml files. Depending on what you want to migrate, you can specify all or none of the default .xml files on the command line.

The entire migration process is controlled by the .xml rules, which you can modify, and logic that is built in to the tool. When using USMT for automated migration, in almost all cases, you should modify the migration .xml files for your unique situation.

Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2000 Service Pack 4; Windows Vista; Windows XP
- Source system: Windows 2000, Windows XP or Windows Vista.
- Destination system: Windows XP or Windows Vista.


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Internet Explorer 7 Available in Multiple Languages

Windows Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP SP2 is now available for download in the following languages (besides English): Arabic, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish

The download can be accessed from Microsoft's Download Center.

A version for Windows Server 2003 SP1 is also available for download in the above mentioned languages.

You can read a review of IE 7 on the HelpWithWindows Web site.

Microsoft Publishes Various Windows XP Themes

Microsoft have published a number of Themes for Windows XP users. These themes include desktop background images, Windows event sounds, Icons, cursors and screen savers.

Read Full Article

Latest Microsoft & Windows News from around the Internet

Keep your Computer free from Viruses, Trojans, Spyware and other Malware

Surfing the Internet these days is a hazardous occupation, but a few simple precautions will keep your computer free from infection in an increasingly hostile environment.

Use the suggestions outlined in the article to ensure maximum security for your computer at minimum cost! Although this article is written based on Windows XP the basic principles apply to other Windows operating system versions too.

Read Full Article

Update for Windows XP (KB928388)

Microsoft released an update that enables your computer to automatically adjust the computer clock on the correct date in 2007 due to revised Daylight Saving Time laws in many countries. For more information about this update, read Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 928388.

Supported OS: Windows XP SP2, Windows XP x64 Edition

Windows XP SP2

Windows XP x64

Update for Windows XP (KB918005)

Microsoft released an update to address an issue where a Windows XP-based portable computer may not have as long a battery life under certain circumstances when certain USB 2.0 devices are connected. For more information about this update, read Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 918005.

Supported OS: Windows XP SP2

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