No Windows 2000 SP5, Expect Security Rollup Instead

Microsoft has killed its planned Windows 2000 Service Pack 5. Instead the company will release an Update Rollup for Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 in the middle of next year.

The company announced the change in a posting to its Web site over the Thanksgiving holiday.

"There will be no Service Pack 5 (SP5) for Windows 2000," the company said in its posting. "Therefore, SP4 becomes the final service pack for Windows 2000."

Service Pack 4 will be a pre-requisite to installing the update rollup, and the machine level will remain at SP4. Windows 2000 systems with SP4 deployed will be up to date from a lifecycle policy until support ends Jan. 1, 2010, according to Microsoft.

The update rollup will require less pre-deployment testing because it will contain fewer fixes than a service pack and many of the fixes are already out in hotfix form. The update rollup will also include a "small number of important non-security updates."

In explaining the decision to go with an update rollup rather than a service pack, a Microsoft FAQ said, "The most frequent requests [from customers] were for Microsoft to make it as easy as possible to keep Windows 2000 systems up to date from a security perspective, and to reduce the amount of pre-deployment testing they would need to perform."

Microsoft has done update rollups before, including the Windows NT 4.0 Post-Service Pack 6a Security Rollup Package, Windows 2000 Security Rollup Package 1 and Windows XP Update Rollup 1.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.