Thanks to Philipp Esselbach of NT Compatible for tipping me off to the release of Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 (SP2) Beta 1, which was released to testers late last week. Microsoft has committed to the regular and timely release of service packs for Windows 2000 since that OS was released last February, and this will be the second such release since then. The first service pack, SP1, shipped in late July, approximately six months after Windows 2000 was released; Service Pack 2 is currently expected to ship sometime in Q1 2001.

The big question, of course, is what's new in this latest service pack. But at this time, information is slim. Of course, it will include the latest bug fixes, hot-fixes, and a couple of new features, such as a newer version of the OpenGL libraries. But beyond that, and an unhelpful note from MSDN that its subscribers will receive the update "sometime in the coming year," SP2 is currently an unknown. I'll have more details on Windows 2000 SP2 as soon as they become available