The much vaunted XP Service Pack 2 has managed to break just about everything ever released, including lots of Microsoft's own products, such as Office. I have to admit that even I'm staggered by the epic amount of incompetence being shown here - "No, we don't need to be able to run C-based programs that use memory heaps! Who uses malloc()'s these days, anyway?" Ummm, *everyone*?
Add to this a firewall (enabled as standard) that has the full range of configuration from "On" to "Off", which will block ALL internet traffic from non-standard Windows programs, requiring you to manually reconfigure your ports to get them working again if the security pop-up doesn't re-enable everything successfully, unless you disable the firewall, negating the entire point of including it in the first place.
Microsoft, I'm humbled by your commitment to the quality and ease of use of your products. And your Quality Assurance processes are second to none.
I don't know about you, but I'm going to be waiting for Service Pack 2a.