Windows Tip Sheet

The Emperor's New Clothes

Win2003 SP1 packs in several new features -- and repackaged old stuff.

Reader Bryan Lucas wrote in to ask about some of the new (and renamed) services in Win2003 SP1. Specifically, he noted several new and renamed services by comparing servers after an SP1 install. Figuring out what these all do can be tough, but I did some digging and came up with the following:

  • Application Experience Lookup Service. Intended to automatically apply software updates to programs to make sure they run on subsequent service packs, mainly for compatibility reasons. Essentially, the service checks for updates that correct compatibility issues with Windows patches or service packs.
  • DCOM Server Process Launcher. Launches Distributed COM (DCOM) processes, and it’s required for a number of other services and processes to function correctly -- including the Windows Firewall.
  • Network Provisioning Service. Provides support for wireless cards and wireless network configuration, and also for Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).
  • Windows Firewall/Internet Connection Sharing (ICS). This one’s easy -- it’s just the old Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) service renamed.
  • Windows User Mode Driver Framework. This is part of Microsoft’s next-generation driver model, which includes frameworks for both user-mode and kernel-mode drivers. This service is for user-mode drivers. You’ll actually notice it anytime Windows Media Player 10 is installed, too, because the service is what provides synchronization with hardware devices like MP3 players.

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About the Author

Don Jones is a multiple-year recipient of Microsoft’s MVP Award, and is Curriculum Director for IT Pro Content for video training company Pluralsight. Don is also a co-founder and President of, a community dedicated to Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell technology. Don has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry, and specializes in the Microsoft business technology platform. He’s the author of more than 50 technology books, an accomplished IT journalist, and a sought-after speaker and instructor at conferences worldwide. Reach Don on Twitter at @concentratedDon, or on Facebook at

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