REDMOND, Wash., March 30, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today released to manufacturing Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1). This unique service pack provides customers with significant security enhancements as well as reliability and performance improvements. Building on a comprehensive collection of security updates, Service Pack 1 addresses additional core security issues by providing customers with a reduced attack surface, better protected system services with stronger default settings, and reduced privileges.
“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. “Service Pack 1 is a major component of our overall strategy to help keep customers as secure as possible. I encourage all of our Windows Server 2003 customers to deploy Service Pack 1.”
“IDC research consistently finds that customers look forward to a first service pack after a product release to bolster the security of the Windows environment,” said Al Gillen, research director for system software at IDC. “In the case of Windows Server 2003 SP1, Microsoft has brought forward not just the normal collection of updates, but several tools that promote more-secure network configuration and a streamlined way to administer the latest security releases.”
Service Pack 1 Offers Customers New Security Enhancements
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 provides new functionality to address known security vulnerabilities and prepares companies to better face future security threats. These new technologies include the following:
Security Configuration Wizard. Customers can more easily reduce attack surface area with the new Security Configuration Wizard. The tool reduces the attack surface by gathering information about specific server roles, then automatically blocking all services and ports not needed to perform those roles.
Windows Firewall. Customers can increase their security with the new Windows® Firewall on the server, allowing networkwide control through Group Policy. Also released with Windows XP Service Pack 2, Windows Firewall serves as a host (software) firewall around each client and server computer on a customer’s network.
Post-Setup Security Updates (PSSU). Servers are vulnerable during the time between their installation and application of the latest security updates. In response, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 blocks all inbound connections to the server after installation until Windows Update has delivered the latest security updates to the new computer.
Other Service Pack 1 features that offer customers a more robust security defense include Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 Metabase Auditing, which allows administrators to identify potential malicious users should the store become corrupted, stronger defaults and privilege reduction on services to establish a minimum security threshold for applications, and the addition of Network Access Quarantine Control components to allow administrators to isolate out-of-date virtual private networking (VPN) assets.
“Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 has enabled us to take our network security to the next level, and installation was practically seamless,” said Jonathan Addington, network administrator at K2 Corp. “With the latest security updates, we’ve once again reduced our system vulnerability to viruses, worms and hacker attacks, and added functionality that continues to reduce system management costs.”
Increased Reliability, Performance and Extensive Testing
Customers also can expect to see an increase in overall reliability and performance with the enhancements in Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. Microsoft internal testing shows customers can expect increased performance and reliability up to 50 percent, depending upon workload, after deploying Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1. In addition, Microsoft worked closely with its hardware and software partners to ensure the highest possible level of application and device compatibility for Service Pack 1. Microsoft tested a wide range of server applications including anti-virus, firewall, database, communication, business intelligence, Web development, financial and more. Microsoft also tested many Windows Server-based devices for compatibility with Service Pack 1.
Microsoft Plans Security Enhancements for Small Businesses Server
From small businesses to large enterprises, Microsoft is committed to continually improving its customers’ security. Customers will be able to obtain Windows Small Business Server 2003 SP1 within the next 60 days through the Microsoft Web site. More information is available at http://.
Windows Small Business Server 2003 SP1 will include the latest service packs and updates for Windows Small Business Server 2003 and its product components. Also included are built-in and customized integration capabilities to ensure customers will have a smooth installation experience. Service Pack 1 improves on the security, performance, collaboration and productivity benefits built into Windows Small Business Server 2003.
Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 Is Available Today
Microsoft customers can obtain Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 free via download from the Microsoft Download Center; or through Windows Update, OEM preinstallation, CD order, or the Volume Licensing and System Builder programs.
As part of the worldwide rollout of Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows Small Business Server 2003 SP1, Microsoft will localize the software in 18 languages over the next two months.
Also today, Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition were released to manufacturing and will be available through various partners in late April.
About Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 is a comprehensive, integrated and secure infrastructure designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations. Building on Windows 2000 family strengths, the new server platform helps customers extend existing resources while laying the foundation for building a new generation of connected applications that improve business productivity. Windows Server 2003 is the foundation for the Microsoft Windows Server System™ integrated server infrastructure, designed for building, deploying and operating agile business solutions. More information is available at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003.
About Windows Server System
Microsoft Windows Server System is integrated server software providing the infrastructure for IT operations, application development, integration and information work. Built on the Windows Server operating system and designed with Common Engineering Criteria, Windows Server System is focused on making it easier for IT professionals to connect and
manage their IT environments. Because Windows Server System products are integrated for enhanced manageability and security, they help organizations reduce complexity and lower costs. All Windows Server System products support open industry standards including those based on XML to promote interoperability with other platforms. More information on Windows Server System can be found online at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem.
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