While news sites say XP SP2 was released, the 80+MB patch won't be available to general public for download via Windows Update site for a while. Here are some details:
· Online Distribution
o On August 9th, we plan to post the Network Install Package to the Microsoft.com Download Center and our main technical subscription programs (MSDN and Technet). This SP2 package is intended for IT Professionals Developers and will not be broadly publicized.
o On August 10th we plan to begin a low volume release of English SP2 through Automatic Update (AU). For a few days this will be exclusively available to customers who have previously installed prerelease versions of Windows XP SP2, and then we will broaden the distribution out to all Windows XP users.
o By mid August, we plan to commence availability of SP2 to business customers who use Software Update Services (SUS). The Windows Update service is the distribution mechanism for SUS.
o By the end of August, we anticipate full customer availability (constrained to 2.5M downloads/day world-wide) via the main Windows Update website and Automatic Update. The exact timing and maximum number of downloads will depend upon the results of the gradual ramp up we do over the previous weeks.
2.5M per day? That means the patch will take 30+ days to download. Yikes! More details are available at Janok's blog.
Firas points out that 2.5M actually means 2.5 million downloads per day instead of 2.5 megabytes download per day per user. Duh.
Looks like some BitTorrent enthusiasts have setup a server just for XP SP2 at SP2Torrent.com. I also found a direct download link into Microsoft along with a mini-review at Neowin.net. Note that these alternate download links are provided AS IS. It is entirely possible for hackers to intercept and inject trojans and viruses into them. Even matching the MD5 hash at SP2Torrent.com isn't really safe because, if they can get at the torrent file itself, they can get at the webpage with the hash you are suppose to match the hash of the downloaded file with.
BTW, binaries available via BitTorrent and direct download are about three times bigger (270MB) than what you would have gotten via Automatic Updates (AU) because AU downloads only the components your system need.
Update took longer than I expected (~30 minutes). I was watching it go and it seemed to be replacing every damn DLL there is. Now that it's all done, I can't tell any difference except that white pixels seem brighter and safer (just kidding ;-p). I guess I'll just have to assume that my computer is safer now. So much for user awareness.