Microsoft said that SP2 for Windows XP might break functionality of existing applications. In an effort to help developers understand the implications of SP2, the company is now offering a training course, “Windows XP Service Pack 2 Training for Developers,” which covers the changes slated for the new service pack.

The company said SP2 will introduce changes to the operating system that will help defend against attacks that come against a network, a system's memory, via email, and via browsers. The training course will cover the changes as well as coding techniques that can be used to overcome problems with applications that don't work on XP SP2 systems.

Microsoft will make available updates to Visual Studio and previous .NET Framework that support the changes that will be made to XP via installation of SP2.

The company has also made available four articles and whitepapers that provide insight into SP2 for those who will deploy and use it. The documents include an overview of SP2, how to enable remote debugging XP systems with SP2, new security technologies in SP2, and the changes in functionality that will be introduced by SP2.

The documents as well as Web casts can be found at Microsoft's Web site.