Microsoft Preps Windows XP Service Pack Updates

UPDATED In order to comply with a preliminary injunction forcing the company to include Sun Microsystems' Java in Windows, Microsoft is preparing two updates to Windows XP Service Pack 1.

An initial update dubbed SP1a was released Monday and is identical to the currently available SP1, but stripped of Microsoft's Java. SP1b will follow in June, featuring Sun's latest Java revision and meeting the timetable imposed by the court.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz issued his ruling in late December and told Microsoft last month it had 120 days to implement the ordered changes. Motz agreed with Sun's claim that Microsoft was not allowing Java to compete by only supporting Redmond's own .NET platform.

Citing past litigation from Sun, Microsoft previously dropped support for Java in Windows XP and instead made available on Windows Update an outdated Java release.

Although Microsoft has appealed Motz's decision, the company acknowledged it is doing a number of things to comply with the order.


As part of the injunction, SP1b will be made available on CD as well as Windows Update. Sun's Java releases will also be added to Windows Update for users to install independent of the service pack.

Microsoft stressed that the updates are intended only for new installs of Service Pack 1 and will not impact customers.

"This will be for customers who want to apply SP1 moving forward, not those that have already applied SP1," Microsoft spokesperson Jim Cullinan told BetaNews. "An updated version of SP1 will replace the current one available."

Windows XP Service Pack 2, slated to enter beta testing later this year, will additionally feature Sun's Java technology.

Cullinan noted that customers are not required to do anything to meet compliance, and will always have control over what software is installed. "Even when the updated service pack includes Sun's technology, customers have the option to load or not load Sun's technology," he said.

David Worthington contributed to this report.

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