Windows Server Update shuts open security Gates

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Microsoft is tackling long-held security concerns about Windows Server 2003 with its first major update for the operating system.

The Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 was released for download yesterday after two years of development and now includes a firewall and security configuration wizard, a tool businesses can use to configure network security settings.

"With Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, our development team took the time to treat the root cause of many security issues, not just the symptoms. This service pack is very significant and should help address certain classes of exploits," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Windows Server Division at Microsoft. "I encourage all of our Windows Server 2003 customers to deploy Service Pack 1." The update will provide up to 50 percent increased reliability and performance, according to Microsoft.

Earlier this month SC reported Microsoft is putting the finishes touches to a brand new update service, currently available in beta form.

The Service Pack 1 and the new update service arrive as part of Microsoft's increased security drive, outlined by chief software architect Bill Gates at the recent RSA conference.

Microsoft's security push began last year with the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2 and its purchase of a number of smaller security-related firms.

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