Plans for the Windows XP SP3 release are getting a little more concrete now. Mary Joe Foley reports that a beta might be available for MSDN and Technet subscribers by mid September. The final version is still scheduled for H1 2008. I think this SP is not nearly as important as the one for Vista because it supposedly won't influence OS rollout decisions. The only interesting new feature of XP S3 I know of is the support for NAP (Network Access Protection). I just hope that this service pack is not released too long after Windows Server 2008 because I am keen on introducing NAP in our network.
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Yeah, i think the introduction of NAP support for XP will help a lot with it’s deployment.
I like the idea of NAP in general, but it includes a lot of hard work. Without 802.1x, it doesn’t make much sense (or i understood something wrong), and 802.1x support for most other network devices isn’t where it should be (an obvious solution is to create seperate segments for printers etc.).
I also don’t see NAP in smaller businesses, just because of the increased complexity – though small businesses are much more often exposed to unpatched, private laptops etc. because of more lax policies, and the fact that these policies are usually not enforced.
For the 802.1X enforcement method the switch also has to support RADIUS. But they are other enforcement methods. For smaller companies DHCP enforcement probably is the best solution since it is quite easy to configure.