2004-11-23

Service Pack 2 Observations

I have a couple of observations with windows XP service pack 2...

The first involves the change to wireless. Some of the dialog windows with wireless have changed. I don't see any real problem with that. The other change is the icon in the system tray in the lower right. They changed the wireless network icon from the standard two computers, one behind the other, to an icon that just has one computer with some curved lines going away indication radio waves. The problem I have is that the new icon steals functionality that I liked. With the standard network icon, you see outgoing and incoming packets when the monitors 'light' up. With the new wireless icon, you only get a 'light' when the data goes either way. I like the separate incoming light, as it tells me when the computer is getting an IP address from my router when first connecting to the network. It also shows me if I'm not getting data back on things like downloads.

But that is not the most concerning change with SP2. I noticed a bug in Outlook Express after SP2 installed. I think the bug indicates a serious possibility of buffer overrun vulnerability. So I tried to report it to microsoft. I spent a lot of time looking for a decent way to report a bug. The best I could do was put in a wish item. That does not sound like a good way to report a bug. I asked them to contact me for the details. Hours later, no reply. I was hoping to be report the problem and get a fix before any bad guys tried to exploit it. So I can't give any details here.
Some would point out that I should switch to a different set of tools that are less vulnerable. The fact that there is no easy way to report this bug, and I don't feel comfortable that it is being addressed, means that I'm very likely to switch products.

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