Windows Server 2003 SP2 drops on patchless Tuesday

New service pack from Microsoft includes mostly security updates.

Some IT administrators, tired after weeks of struggling to put daylight-saving time patches in place were surprised this week by the release of a service pack for Windows Server 2003.

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 is a cumulative service pack with security updates and stability enhancements. Microsoft said Windows Server 2003 SP2 would come out by the end of this quarter, but administrators posting to patch management forums and blogs were surprised that Microsoft made the download available on the first patchless Patch Tuesday since September 2005.

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Microsoft hadn't updated its own Web site to let administrators know the release was available. Therefore managers would see the update on their Windows Software Update Servers and in Windows Update, even though it was still touting the Release Candidate as its most recent release.

The service pack offers a handful of new features, such as the Scalable Networking Pack, to help customers boost performance of Windows Server 2003 workloads such as storage and backup, Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 to help users connect to Wi-Fi hotspots, and improved IPsec filter management.

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