Microsoft to Force Feed XP2 April 12

Corporate customers who have delayed installing Microsoft XP Service Pack 2 will be assimilated on April 12. Resistance is futile.

Beware unplanned SP2 downloads on April 12 (InformationWeek)

On Tuesday, April 12, Microsoft will turn off the blocking feature that has made it possible for some enterprises to block Windows XP Service Pack 2 downloads by employees who use Automatic Update. That means in companies that used the blocking tool, SP2 will be downloaded automatically to desktop computers that use Windows’ Automatic Update feature. In its April 4 report on business adoption of Windows XP SP2, AssetMetrix warned that a surge of SP2 downloads on April 12 could stress IT help desks and cause “productivity brownouts” among employees. But a Microsoft spokesman downplayed that scenario, saying fewer than 1% of Microsoft’s enterprise customers ever used the blocking tool anyway. Small businesses and consumers will be unaffected by the change, he says, because the blocking tool was not available to them.

AssetMetrix advises companies that did use the blocking tool, yet now want employees to upgrade to SP2, to do so gradually before April 12 in order to avoid a big-bang support problem. It’s worth noting that April 12, as the second Tuesday of the month, is the same day that Microsoft is scheduled to release its monthly software patches, if any are forthcoming.

My work network force feeds me software updates at log-in, often causing me to have to sit idle for 15-30 minutes without giving me the option to simply do the install at the end of the work day. Whoever came up with this system should be given a stern talking to.

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. In other words, the hackers at Microsoft are going to commit massive computer security violations by breaking into and hacking operating systems!

    Whyis it that teenagers who do things like this on a small scale are outed as criminals by the MSM, but nobody prosecutes Microsoft for massive intrusions?

  2. Because MS is making you SAFER.

    SP2 is a good thing, and I am actually glad they are trying to force the issue. Maybe this will force companies to actually upgrade their boxes, or at least make a conscience decision not to, which should send a message that “WE DON’T CARE ABOUT SECURITY!!!”

  3. Scott_T says:

    “…a stern talking to.”

    OOOOoooo, I’m sure Microsoft is shaking in it’s boots about that. 🙂

  4. McGehee says:

    The only problem I had installing SP2 was on our Dell laptop, and that turned out to be because Dell had the issue, not SP2. Once I fixed that, everything worked perfectly well.

    As for the stern talking-to, I think that’s directed at the IP guys where James works, not Micro$oft.