By Ryan Naraine
June 28, 2005
With just two days to go before the expiration of mainstream support
for Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system, the software giant has
provided an update rollup with more than 50 security patches and
system reliability fixes.
The update rollup, which replaces Windows 2000 SP5 (Service Pack 5),
ships as a high-priority update on the Windows Update site , where
it will be listed in the "Critical and Service Packs" category.
In a security advisory  posted Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. said the
rollup is applicable to Windows 2000 client and server releases and
requires the prior installation of SP4.
"[It] contains additional important fixes in files that have not
previously been part of individual security updates [and] additional
enhancements that increase system security, reliability, reduce
support costs and support the current generation of PC hardware," the
But the company said the rollup initially will not be distributed over
Automatic Updates because Windows 2000 customers are being
transitioned to a new version of Windows Update. "Once the transition
is complete, which is expected in early July, Automatic Updates will
be enabled for the update rollup." 
Microsoft said the rollup contains all security updates produced for
Windows 2000 between the time SP4 was released and April 30, 2005, the
time when the code was "locked down for final testing."
Windows 2000 remains the most dominant operating system used in the
enterprise, but once mainstream support ends June 30, analysts expect
corporate migration to Windows XP to speed up.
Microsoft divides its support life cycle into two phases: mainstream
and extended. Once a product enters the extended support period,
Microsoft charges for support.
But the company still will provide Windows 2000 security patches for
free through June 10, 2010.
Microsoft has posted a Knowledge Base article  that describes the
contents of the Windows 2000 update rollup.
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