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.NET Framework Service Pack Out

In one of its fastest service pack releases, Microsoft Corp. this week issued an SP1 for the .NET Framework that was released to manufacturing in January and formally launched a month later.

The .NET Framework is a fundamental building block for Microsoft's Web services strategy. The framework provides the runtime environment for XML Web services to run on Windows servers. For now, companies interested in using .NET services must install the framework on Windows 2000 servers. The framework will be integrated into the Windows .NET Server family.

Documentation for the Microsoft .NET Framework SP1 indicates only four updates, an extraordinarily small number for a Microsoft service pack.

Microsoft .NET product manager Mike Kass says customer feedback over the last two months combined with Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing initiative account for the timing of the service pack.

"What we have here, is the Trustworthy Computing initiative at play. As part of that, I'd say we're basically quadrupling our efforts in servicing and supporting not just the .NET Framework but all of our products," Kass says.

The most prominent change fits with the code and feature review Microsoft has undertaken as part of its Trustworthy Computing initiative.

"[SP1] tightens the default security configuration to prevent even managed code that comes from the Internet Zone from running. The setting can be changed to match customers' specific needs, but represents a more secure, 'locked down' starting point for users and administrators," Microsoft's documentation reads.

Kass says customers told Microsoft that they wanted Redmond to mirror in .NET the kinds of secure default settings Microsoft has promised with Internet Information Services 6.0, its Windows .NET Server generation Web server.

The other three changes deal with bugs in the software. All three affect the Microsoft .NET Framework SDK, and one of them affects Visual Studio .NET Professional, which launched at the same time as the .NET Framework.

Kass says Microsoft has not set a more aggressive schedule for .NET Framework service packs than for operating system service packs, which typically take six months or more to ship.

"There's not going to be a faster service pack cycle per se. This is not something that we really plan out months in advance of when we ship a product," Kass says.

The service pack is available at msdn.microsoft.com/netframework/downloads/sp1/default.asp

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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