Windows XP Service Pack 2, or SP2, was a major update for Microsoft Windows XP, which was released on August 25, 2004. It was succeeded by Windows XP Service Pack 3 on July 10, 2008.

New features

Service Pack 2 included many important addons and updates.

  • Security - Huge security updates were included in Service Pack 2. This included the addition of Windows Firewall, and the enhanced monitoring of virus protection and system updates.
  • Pop-up blocker - The pop-up blocker was built into Internet Explorer after Microsoft drew some criticism for releasing IE without any pop-up blockers.
  • Windows Movie Maker 2 - The next edition of Windows Movie Maker was introduced in SP2 with dozens of new effects.
  • Windows Media Player 10 - WMP 10 was released with SP2 with an improved interface, and new capability features.
  • Startup screen - The startup screen was significantly changed. The copyright at the bottom of the screen was removed, and the words "Home Edition" and "Professional" were wiped off. The sliding bars were changed to the color blue.
  • Environment - There were non trackable changes in the environment of SP2 from SP1.

Base for Windows Vista

The security updates in SP2 were the base for the security in Windows Vista. Vista includes many of the features stated above, as well as the new Windows Defender.