Microsoft has released to manufacture Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 and it is making big claims for the upgrade's security enhancements and simpler administration.
It is designed to "effectively reduce the attack surface of Windows Server 2003, protect system services with stronger default settings and reduce server privileges".
The software giant has wheeled out a case study for launch date, Fulton County, Georgia which trialled an early version of SP1: "The security enhancements alone have allowed the county to reallocate an average of 25 percent of its IT resources to activities other than countering potential security threats,” saving an estimated $350,000 a year. Which is nice.
"When we shipped Windows Server 2003 we had a tremendous amount of confidence," Mike Nash, Microsoft security veep, told AP. "The thing we learned almost immediately (was) there was more work to do."
The upgrade has been a long time coming and, notes the website Winbeta.org, follows "18 long months of beta testing of a product that many companies showed inital reluctance to install after Microsoft let slip that Service Pack 1 was already in the works at the release of Windows Server 2003 itself".
Citing security concerns, Microsoft recommends customers start evaluating SP1 as soon as possible, with a view to near-term deployment.
Windows Server 2003 SP1 is ready to download, free of charge, here.
Microsoft’s PR pitch is here. ®