Part 8: Conclusion and Appendices

Published: August 09, 2004 | Updated: September 15, 2004

By Starr Andersen, Technical Writer; Vincent Abella, Technical Editor

This document is Part 8 of “Changes to Functionality to Microsoft® Windows® XP Service Pack 2.” and contains the conclusion and appendices of the paper. You can obtain the other parts of the paper in the Microsoft Download Center, at

This document applies to Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) for the 32-bit versions of Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition. It does not describe all of the changes that are included in the service pack, but instead highlights those changes that will have the most impact on your use of Windows XP SP2 and provides references to additional information that may be available.

On This Page

Appendix A: Document History
Appendix B: Group Policy Administrative Templates


This document discusses some of the primary changes that will be made in Windows XP Service Pack 2 to help increase the protection and security of Windows XP. Most of these features are designed to defend against malicious attacks on systems even when they do not have the latest updates installed. Some of these changes and enhancements might have implications for developers. Microsoft is communicating these capabilities early in the process so that developers understand the implications of these changes and have time to make any necessary modifications.

Microsoft understands that security technologies are only one aspect of a sound defense-in-depth security strategy. The security technologies outlined here are the next steps being taken in the Trustworthy Computing initiative to help to make customers’ systems more resilient.

This document does not describe all of the changes that are included in the service pack. For more information and any updates to this paper, see “Windows XP Service Pack 2: Resources for IT Professionals” on the Microsoft Web site at

Appendix A: Document History

Release Date

Changes to Document

December 12, 2003

First version of document released.

February 20, 2004

Added new sections: Alerter and Messenger services, Bluetooth, Client Administrative Tools, Group Policy, Outlook Express, Resultant Set of Policy, Windows Installer 3.0, Windows Media Player 9.

Revised sections: Windows Firewall (formerly Internet Connection Firewall), Execution Protection.

March 30, 2004

Added new sections: Add and Remove Programs, Security Center, Microsoft Windows Update Services and Automatic Updates, Setup, WebDAV Redirector, Windows Messenger, Wireless Provisioning Services, as well as the following Internet Explorer features: Security Zone Settings, Local Machine Zone Lockdown, Group Policy Settings, Download, Attachment and Authenticode Enhancements, Information Bar.

Revised sections: Windows Firewall, Bluetooth, Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer, DCOM.

April 30, 2004

Added new sections: NetSchedule and Task Scheduler APIs, Tablet PC Enhancements, Wireless Network Setup Wizard, Internet Explorer URLaction Settings in Group Policy.

Revised sections: Data execution prevention, DCOM Security Enhancements, Filter for Add or Remove Programs, Setup, Download, Attachment, and Authenticode Enhancements, Internet Explorer File Download Prompt, Outlook Express E-mail Attachment Prompt, Add-on Install Prompt, Group Policy Internet Explorer Settings, Script repositioning of Internet Explorer windows, Zone Elevation Blocks.

July 21, 2004

Added new sections: Distributed Transaction Coordinator, Internet Information Services.

Revised sections: Windows Firewall, Setup, Resultant Set of Policy, Windows Update, Internet Explorer Feature Control Settings in Group Policy, Internet Explorer URLAction Security Settings in Group Policy, Internet Explorer MIME Handling Enforcement, Internet Explorer Network Protocol Lockdown, Internet Explorer Local Machine Lockdown.

Appendix B: Group Policy Administrative Templates

In Windows XP Service Pack 2, many operating system components have added support for Group Policy administrative templates which support many new settings. These new settings have been created in response to customer feedback.

Microsoft has published a reference spreadsheet that lists Group Policy settings described in Administrative Template (.adm) files that are included with Windows XP Service Pack 2. This includes policy settings that are supported on Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional (including Service Pack 2), and the Windows Server 2003 family. The spreadsheet includes separate worksheets for each of the .adm files shipped, as well as a consolidated worksheet for easy searching.

To download the reference spreadsheet, see “Group Policy Settings Reference for Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2” on the Microsoft Download Center at