Now that Windows XP Service Pack 1 is out the door, almost everybody should be installing one of the recent updates. Although the service packs fix a slew of bugs, their primary purpose these days is security, plugging the various ways people have found to break into your computer.
You won’t notice very much of a difference from any of the service packs, but under the hood your system is strengthened in meaningful ways. These are all worth installing. Current updates:
Windows XP Service Pack 1
Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (cumulative – includes prior service packs)
Office XP Service Pack 1 & 2 (SP1 must be installed before SP2)
Office 2000 Service Pack 1 & 2 (SP1 must be installed before SP2)
These are big downloads. (The complete Windows XP Service Pack 1 is 133Mb!) I carry them around on CD. I’ll be contacting my clients to arrange to install the service packs.