Looks like the arrival date for Windows XP service pack 2 has now reached well into 2004, some sources claiming Q2 2004, some even later. It was expected (and hoped!) previously that the release would fall into late 2003, but now that seems very unlikely.

"Despite the long gap between SP1 and SP2, Microsoft says it has no plans for an interim Windows XP update at this time. In a recent chat session regarding the Blaster Internet worm, Microsoft product manager John Hazen said, "We do not currently have plans to create a Security Rollup Package for Windows XP, but are exploring ways to make these fixes more readily available and easier to install together." "

With the increasingly popularity of broadband, Microsoft now believes that "it can now be more flexible with how it rolls out larger updates", since there isn't the same level of anticipation of service pack releases as there was in the days gone by of NT4, and so forth, where it was not common to slowly accumulate updates as one can now. Its likely that future service packs for Microsoft operating systems may concentrate on adding new features and programs as well as bugfixes.

More here.