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What's the difference between patches and service packs?

What's the difference between patches and service packs?

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According to our IT operations systems architect Paul Gonzalez, a service pack rolls together all the patches that have come along over a given period of time, while a patch is designed to fix a specific problem.

A software company -- Microsoft for example -- might release several patches throughout the month to take care of security flaws or bugs. At the end of the month, they might release a service pack, which would include all of those patches, along with any enhancements to the software.

This was first published in April 2007

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