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Microsoft pushes back XP update

Microsoft has delayed the release of its next update to Windows XP, CNET News.com has learned. The company says it is still incorporating testers' feedback.

Ina Fried Former Staff writer, CNET News
During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley.
Ina Fried
Microsoft has delayed the planned release date of its next update to Windows XP by about a month, CNET News.com has learned.

The software maker had originally said Windows XP Service Pack 2 would be released in its final form in the first half of this year, but a representative told CNET News.com on Wednesday that the release is now likely to come later in the summer.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 is largely intended to bolster the security of Windows XP, but also will add features such as a pop-up ad blocker to Internet Explorer.

Internally, Microsoft is now targeting a July release as opposed to the June release originally intended, according to a source familiar with the company's plans. Microsoft has already released one near-final "release candidate" version of the software but is planning on another one before it puts its stamp of approval on the software.

The company representative said Microsoft is still trying to incorporate the feedback it has gotten from testers of the software.

"Ultimately, it will ship when it meets the quality standards Microsoft customers demand," the representative said.

Microsoft has shifted a significant number of its Windows staff to the service pack release, a move that has also pushed back the company's timeframe for launching Longhorn, the next major update to Windows.