2004: On the road to prevention
Source: Paul Venezia - Posted by Joe Shakespeare   
Security Even though it happened late in the year, 2004 will probably be remembered as the year that Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer slipped.

Mozilla's Firefox browser finally reached release status in early November, and by early December had made a noticeable dent in Internet Explorer's market share. The main driver for Firefox's success is not necessarily its innovative features, but rather the lack of easily exploitable security holes. It seems that the serious flaws in Microsoft's browser finally led many users to decide it's time for a change.

In addition to more critical security issues in Internet Explorer last year, Microsoft also brought us Windows XP SP2 (Service Pack 2). Hailed by the company as a security blanket for XP, it was soon clear that it was also an application killer, rendering hundreds of applications unusable following installation. Microsoft subsequently removed SP2 from its automatic update service, but continues to remind users to install SP2 whenever they visit the Windows Update site. All this trouble and fuss for a service pack that many administrators believe merely treated some symptoms but didn't address the real problems.

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