Today is the day that Microsoft will push its most comprehensive update to Windows XP to customers who use the Home Edition.
The update will begin shortly after connecting to the Internet. It is a very large chunk of data. Users of Windows XP Home Edition, who have not kept up on the periodic upgrades may have problems obtaining their email messages or even surfing the web. The Home Edition download size is estimated at 60 megabytes.
It is advisable to make sure no other programs are running before you connect to the Internet, other than your anti-virus and firewall software.
This is an update that you really must have to be safe while using the Internet for any purpose. Microsoft has declared Service Pack2 (SP2) to be a critical update. This means that users who fail to update may have serious problems with viruses, worms and other malicious programs that exploit weaknesses in machines that do not have SP2. Microsoft does not recommend that users turn off the automatic update feature of Windows XP because of the dangers that un-patched systems may be exposed to on the Internet. For those who just can t download the update, Microsoft will have CDs with SP2 available in the near future.
The Blade s science writer, Michael Woods will have additional information regarding the Windows XP Service Pack 2 in his Saturday technology column.