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Rebecca Norlander - why is XPSP2 so big?

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Windows XP Service Pack 2 is about 270MB. So, we asked Rebecca "why so big?"

Some other resources on Windows XP SP2 Technical Preview:

1) Download it.
2) Learn what it means for developers.
3) Get more information.

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  • scobleizerscobleizer I'm the video guy
    We're starting to get transcripts of the videos now. Here's the one for this video:

    There’s a couple things. If you haven’t picked up SP1, then you know you get all the bits for SP1 as well, because the goal is to have you as up to date as possible. 

    The hard thing about SP2 is that one of the things I didn’t talk about earlier, because it doesn’t really necessarily impact developers was we recompiled a bunch of the core system binaries with a new GS flag which helps mitigate buffer overruns. 

    If you recompile, though, then you’ve changed those bits, and those bits need to make it into the service pack. That’s one of the reasons that it grew beyond what most service packs were.

    Then we had a decision to make. Should we go ahead and make it large and get all these things recompiled with the tool that we think is fairly effective, or should we wait and kind of dribble those things out over time?  The consensus for the customers and from internally was, first of all, if you’re really going to go for it, then go for it. Right?

    Do the right thing the first time, and don’t wait or torture people with the endless number of updates over time.  The second thing was people were like, Wow, if I’m going to take a hit and you’re going to make it big and you’re going to do all this work, just give it to me in one chunk. Don’t tell me in two months that there’s another 50 megs or another N megs that I have to download in order to really get myself up to SP2. We bit the bullet. It’s big, but there’s a lot of technology reasons that that’s the case. 
  • Rebecca is very articulate with a nice UI.
  • ZeoZeo Channel 9 :)

    Seeing how SP2 has taken forever(and I understand why) to get out. I only hope that the number of ensuing post sp2 patches are much smaller. I've heard about binary bit stream technologies being utilized in SP2 Windows Update 5, But I'd really just like to know that once I've got SP2 I'm good for several months. (I wish there would be a way for me to make a CD of the post Sp2 patches, because when I reimage I hate having to redownload everything all over again).
    For Rebecca and Channel 9, I'd love to see a video about how MS handles bandwidth. With sp2 being this large, how do they handle the Millions of users who will try to get it the first hour its out?

    What kind of technological centers does MS have in place for huge service pack online distribution?

  • sbsummersbsummer sbsummer
    It's too big to download.....
  • Zeo wrote:

    For Rebecca and Channel 9, I'd love to see a video about how MS handles bandwidth. With sp2 being this large, how do they handle the Millions of users who will try to get it the first hour its out?


    Personally, I'd like to see a torrent of it Smiley
  • Stevan VeselinovicSteve411 Me, all suited up!
    Foss wrote:
    Zeo wrote:
    For Rebecca and Channel 9, I'd love to see a video about how MS handles bandwidth. With sp2 being this large, how do they handle the Millions of users who will try to get it the first hour its out?


    Personally, I'd like to see a torrent of it Smiley



    A torrent file of it?
      It does not matter how you download it, Foss, it will still be the same size.
  • JazJaz From the depths of Wales I come
    what is this fascination with torrent files?
  • ZeoZeo Channel 9 :)

    Speed of the download is key.Torrents are usually upwards of 800kbs

  • WinInsiderWinInsider Mike, MCAD
    I am looking forward to updating all my home computers (both new and old) to SP2 as soon it comes out. Although I am concern how well will SP2 perform on older computers that lay on the borderline of system requirements? (E.g. 300MHz, 128MB)

    I know that SP2 is mostly about security, but have there been tests/efforts done that show improvements/effects to...

    - Faster boot time
    - Better CPU utilization
    - Smaller memory footprint

    (tests on both new and old computers)


    I hope that SP2 will not slowdown already slow and low on resources computer.

    In any case SP2 is a must have.
  • Frankie FreshFrankie Fresh .NET Developer and so much more.
    Torrents are neat becuase unlike other peer to peer tools, you dont need all of a file to start sharing.

    I think eMule works the same way.
  • It's one thing if I can torrent from several Microsoft servers at once. MSFT FTP servers usually give me pretty good speed anyway.
    But downloading or sharing SP2 on P2P? No way. I would never ever put a system update on my computer that I wasn't resonably confident was delivered directly from Microsoft!

    As for the size, I don't care. As long as I can download and save it on CD to bring over to my non-broadband friends.

    /Lars.
  • JazJaz From the depths of Wales I come

    i get huge speeds when downloading from MS, does it really really matter if your file is going at 200k rather than 800k. this need for torrents is unfathmomable to me.  Theres just no real need, it's one of those petty things.  a better way would be to do an aol esque mail drop with pretty much 6 billion cds being distributed every 3 weeks. 

  • Zeo wrote:

    Speed of the download is key.Torrents are usually upwards of 800kbs



    Not on my DSL connection at home. Even with 10 ports open for people to connect to me, I get an average of 72kb/s max. Whereas a direct connection to the MS site will get me 120k or higher. 
  • DebugThisDebugThis Inka Coder
    I could not agree more.  Rebecca rules.  She is very good at making her point and does her best at expressing areas that are still not well thought out It seems)  I feel more comfortable now about installing SP2 on all my machines.  And she has a great UI...
  • Jaz wrote:

    a better way would be to do an aol esque mail drop with pretty much 6 billion cds being distributed every 3 weeks. 



    Sounds so 20 th century Wink How many tons of plastic are in 6 billion cds? How many trees go in the envelopes?

    Bittorrent makes more sense for the one that wants to publish something than for the ones that want to get it.

    But let's be realistic: Microsoft won't need to seed the torrents, anyway somebody will do it in the first hours SP2 is out. If they allow this in the licences, it will be perfectly legal too.

    Also, I think the downloadable file will be signed.
  • scobleizer wrote:
    We're starting to get transcripts of the videos now. Here's the one for this video:


    Congratulations for the transcripts!
  • eagle wrote:
    Rebecca is very articulate with a nice UI.


    Hehehe! Well put.
  • Frankie FreshFrankie Fresh .NET Developer and so much more.
    AndyC wrote:
    eagle wrote: Rebecca is very articulate with a nice UI.


    Hehehe! Well put.


    I'm sure she hears that all the time. Wink
  • Stevan VeselinovicSteve411 Me, all suited up!
    Frankie Fresh wrote:
    AndyC wrote:
    eagle wrote: Rebecca is very articulate with a nice UI.


    Hehehe! Well put.


    I'm sure she hears that all the time. Wink

     
     We back on topic now you guys?
  • LwatsonLwatson One ugly mug...
    Frankly I am waiting for it to appear on our MSDN DVD shipments. Then I'll migrate it to all of our production env's after I have placed it into a number of VMWARE machines to gauge its effects.

    Sure we have a decent pipe here and I have an even better pipe at home. ( My cable at home regularly runs circles around our T1 here at work ), but I am still going to wait for the shipping version before I do anything with SP2.

    BTW Torrents get their power from distributing a large payload across multiple points of delivery even if those multiple points are delivering to a single point. It means that points A,B, and C can deliver a sliver of a product to point D making the effective outbound pipe usage on points A,B and C less while saturating the point D's inbound pipe. Sure its an effective way to distribute huge payloads across the net but I still would not want my critical SP2 coming from hither and yon. Its not about all the safeguards that are in place to prevent malicious injection of unknown content into that stream. Lets face it the safeguards are there because somebody has thought about the attack vectors, It am concerned about the attack vectors that a white hat has Not thought about but the black hats have.

  • Provided with a approach similar to Blizzard used, where the torrent client and seed would be provided directly by MS, only potential attack would be one that breaks into the MS server.

    I also question the rationale of serving something that quickly gets old on a CD. Would they send CDRW's over mail (for incrementally adding future updates to), one could then ask about security..

  • http://msdn.microsoft.com/security/productinfo/XPSP2/default.aspx">http://msdn.microsoft.com/
    security/productinfo/XPSP2/default.aspx

    This has all the answers. There are a lot of modifications to standard progs like an update to Media Player. 

    How good is it?

    XPSP2 RC1 Beta - NO crashes
    XPSP2 RC2      - NO crashes

    Just a few popups from the firewall, easily configured with a few clicks.
     
    It likes to block pictures though. but this can be overcome, just watch out for the line that appears below the search bar.

    It took about 75 minutes to download to the UK on a 600kbs connection.
  • Interesting points...

    When I was at a recent MS Security Conference (in Melbourne/Oz), there was talk about how MS will be pushing to have it available on CD at every possible location from store shelfs, to PC Magazine covers, and so on. The presenter said, the aim was to make SP2 as available as possible to make sure that everyone who is not on a broadband connection, be able to install SP2.

    I guess this is only once it goes final, don't know if it's a plan only for Australia or whatever, but I think it's definately a great idea.

    Having it so widely available, perhaps it'll encourage those who are still without SP1 go out, grab a copy and install.

    This will mean that such an important update is available to as many as possible.

    At the start of the presentation, the presenter (Danny Beck) made sure everyone received a copy of XP SP2 RC1 to take home to play with! Though, by the time I had time to install it, RC2 was out, so downloaded and installed that instead on my test machine.
  • ezuezu

    I think that XP SP2 will worth it's "weigth". I've installed it on my personal machine since RC1, and i think that the improvements made (especially for the tablet PC edition) are awesome. RC1 had some, IMHO, performance issues.

    The thing i dislike are: the outbound Firewall alerts... if you say "ok" let it go out for an application that will access the internet once, you don't have control about that application, you can only go in WinSecurity and disable that program to outgoing connections. That's great for "normal" users, but i think out there are someone (like me Wink ) that will decide when an application can go out to the internet and when not...

    Rebecca... your Rings are beautiful Big Smile.


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