Microsoft begins reminders for Window XP SP2 delivery

Microsoft is warning users that it is soon going to start delivering Windows XP Service Pack 2 to all its customers using its Automatic Update service — whether they want it or not.

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By  Peter Branton Published  March 6, 2005

Microsoft is warning users that it is soon going to start delivering Windows XP Service Pack 2 to all its customers using its Automatic Update service — whether they want it or not. In response to requests from large businesses that wanted more time to test compatibility of their applications with SP2, Microsoft last year released a blocking tool for the SP2 update. Businesses were able to continue to use the Automatic Update service but were given a grace period from having to download SP2. That grace period ends next month, on April 12, and Microsoft is warning users to get ready. “Time is running out!” an advisory on its web site warns.“Please note that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 is only available for a period of 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004. At the end of this period (after April 12, 2005), Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems,” it continued. SP2, which was launched last year, has had compatibility problems with some applications, leading analyst firms last year to recommend that businesses hold off on adopting it until they had more time to complete testing. According to Canadian research firm AssetMetrix, one in 10 PCs will have compatibility issues with SP2, mainly with older applications. Microsoft last year listed 60 applications that may not work properly after SP2 is installed. Haider Salloum, Microsoft South Gulf marketing manager, confirmed that the schedule will apply to businesses in the region. “This applies to all businesses who have enabled the Automatic Update feature in their organisations,” he said. “We believe though that most large organisations have either rolled out SP2 already or are in the process of doing so. This is for people who have not yet completed SP2 testing,” Salloum added. Salloum said it wasn’t possible to give numbers as to how many users were likely to be affected, but stressed the importance of the upgrade: “We think that SP2 is the most important upgrade to install so we are urging everyone to do so,” he said. More than 12,000 customers in the past three months in the South Gulf region have been sent free CDs containing the upgrade as part of a campaign to help users with slow internet connections, Salloum said.

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