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To make it as easy as possible for customers to maintain the security and stability of their Windows 2000 systems, Microsoft will produce an Update Rollup for Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 (SP4), with a planned release in mid-2005.
The Update Rollup will contain all security-related updates produced for Windows 2000 between the time SP4 was released and the time when Microsoft finalizes the contents of the Update Rollup. The Update Rollup will also contain a small number of important non-security updates.
By including the most important updates for Windows 2000, the Update Rollup will make it easier for customers to keep existing Windows 2000 systems secure and up to date, and to build new deployment images. The Update Rollup should require less pre-deployment testing for two reasons: the number of updates included in the Update Rollup is significantly lower than the number typically included in a service pack, and Microsoft will have already released most of the contents of the Update Rollup as individual updates and hotfixes. Individual hotfixes made since SP4, but not included in the Update Rollup, will remain available via individual downloads.
Because Microsoft believes the Update Rollup will meet the needs of customers better than a new service pack, there will be no Service Pack 5 (SP5) for Windows 2000. Therefore, SP4 becomes the final service pack for Windows 2000. Customers who have not yet deployed SP4 should consider deploying SP4 as soon as possible, especially since SP4 will be a prerequisite for deploying the Update Rollup.