Microsoft's announcement this week that it is preparing to end support for machines running Windows XP SP2 not only represents a challenge for the thousands of businesses still running SP2, but also is the end of an era for both Microsoft and its customers. It wasn't until 2004 that the final release of XP SP2 hit the streets, but when it did, it represented a huge step forward in security for Windows users. It wasn't necessarily the feature set that mattered as much as the fact that the protections were enabled by default and taken out of the users' hands.
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