Microsoft said it will deliver an "update rollup" for Windows 2000 in mid-2005, rather than a final service pack for the operating system.
The update will contain all the security updates that have been made available since Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 was released in November 2003.
Microsoft said the rollup will
contain a number of important non-security updates, in addition to security updates and hotfixes. Administrators are advised to install Service Pack 4 if they haven't already done so because it will be a requirement for the update rollup.
Some Windows experts agree that creating an update rollup is better because customers tend to install them faster than service packs. Service packs generally go through much more rigorous testing, almost like an OS release, said Kent Smith, chairman of the Boston Area Windows Server User Group.
"Rollups tend to be a bunch of patches," Smith said. "People are more inclined to install them faster because service packs are more frightening."
Mainstream support for Windows 2000 ends June 30, 2005. Extended support ends on June 30, 2010, according to Microsoft.