Microsoft will release Service Pack 4 for Windows NT 4.0 by the end of June, company officials confirmed last Friday. As an interesting aside, it will contain a security configuration tool that was originally scheduled for Windows NT 5.0. The Security Configuration Editor, which presents itself as a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in, is designed as a central repository for security-related administration tasks.

Like most Microsoft OS-related products these day, Service Pack 4 is significantly behind schedule; it was originally due for release by the end of 1997. The security configuration tool was added at customers requests, though Microsoft was planning on not adding new features in future service packs (that what "Option Packs" are for now, apparently).

"One of the complaints about NT 4.0 was that it was not 'locked down' out of the box," said Windows NT product manager Karan Khanna. "This will fix that."