Microsoft released a new toolkit that helps you lock down shared Windows XP systems. The new Shared Computer Toolkit for Windows XP includes three parts, including a disk protection tool, user restrictions tool, and an accessibility tool.

The disk protection tool helps lock down the file system, can revert changes when the system reboots, and helps automate system-level and antivirus updates. The user restrictions tool restricts access to system utilities, restricts the use of unauthorized software, and blocks access to "important data." The accessibility tool puts all the accessiblity features, such as on-screen keyboard, large fonts, screen magnifier, etc., in one interface for easier access. Microsoft said the new tool will simplify user profile configuration, increase security and reliability, and reduce support calls, among other benefits.

The toolkit works with XP Home, XP Pro, and XP Tablet PC Edition, and does not require the use of Active Directory nor any servers or domain environments, although it can be used in domain-based and Active Directory environments.