Windows Users Eagerly Await XP Service Pack 2

Tech News World – Technology News: News: Windows Users Eagerly Await XP Service Pack 2

With just as much hype and nearly as much code as a brand-new operating system, the security-focused Service Pack 2 (SP2) update for Microsoft’s (Nasdaq: MSFT) Latest News about Microsoft Windows Relevant Products/Services from InterLand Business Hosting Services XP operating system is now only days away, the company’s senior product manager Matt Pilla indicated this week.

Industry analysts have already remarked on the size of the update, a 200-plus-megabyte set of patches for Windows that has been delayed by the huge amount of testing required. Despite these efforts, the update will likely have adverse effects on other applications. In what may be a sign of things to come, Microsoft warned this week that its customer relationship management Latest News about customer relationship management (CRM) software will not work with SP2 and will require software workarounds.

Meta Group vice president Steve Kleynhans told TechNewsWorld that companies are likely to test and install the package out of concern for security Relevant Products/Services from IBM eServer xSeries Systems. Kleynhans added, however, that some companies “may not turn on all of its capabilities,” particularly those features that duplicate pre-existing software such as firewalls.

Analysts agreed that the size and significance of SP2 render it as close to a new version of Windows as Microsoft could get while still calling it an update.
“The marketing around Service Pack 2 will be similar to what you’d see with a product change,” Kleynhans said. “Microsoft is not going to play it up as a package of fixes, but rather as an enhancement to what you’ve already got.”

Pointing to significant changes in architecture and the inclusion of some next-generation Windows “Longhorn” elements, Gartner Latest News about Gartner research vice president Richard Stiennon said that many companies view SP2 as a new version of Windows. “Enterprises are taking a wait and see approach,” Stiennon told TechNewsWorld. “It’s going to go through a lot of the testing that a new version of Windows does.”

Microsoft hopes to avoid the many possible negative effects of the new service pack, whose default settings activate a firewall and pop-up blocking. Kleynhans said that while the core of Windows is not changed, SP2 does affect “a broad cross-section of the components in the operating system.” The update could cause the types of problems associated with a new operating system. “This isn’t invisible,” Kleynhans said. “This isn’t slipping some patches in. This is something users will notice has changed.”

In addition to Microsoft’s warnings on the SP2 impact and its recent announcement concerning CRM Relevant Products/Services from Remedy: Service Management Software — Right Out of the Box, there have been reports of major Web sites not working with SP2-updated Windows, which is already out in beta form.
“A lot of help desks are going to get a lot of phone calls,” Kleynhans said.

Yee-hah. It sounds very Microsoft. Although, indeed, I’m rather surprised that they’re not trying to pawn this off as a new operating system so they can charge for it.

The lead-in to the story is rather amusing, though. Outside of a few techies, is anyone really “eagerly anticipating” this? Windows95 and, to a lesser extent, XP were pretty highly anticipated because there had been major ad campaigns touting them. The release of SP2, by contrast, has been largely off my radar screen. And, certainly, there’s nothing of the equivalent of Bill Gates spending millions to get the rights to use a Rolling Stones tune in the commercials.

UPDATE: SP2 is apparently available now, although I wouldn’t want to contend with the server wait times on the first few days. And it will eventually push itself to users:

Approximately 100 million customers will receive the Automatic Update notification. Exactly when they get the prompt will depend on the customer’s Internet usage, location, language and the level of Internet demand for Service Pack 2, because Automatic Updates uses spare Internet capacity to progressively download updates without interfering with daily PC use.

I may wait to see what happens before installing this one. If Microsoft is admitting that it’s going to break things and make previously useful programs suddenly non-functional–and they’re not saying what programs!–I’m not too thrilled.

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. Boyd says:

    Putting aside your snarky comments about Microsoft, a little digression:

    I’ve noticed on a few occasions that when you quote a web article elsewhere, “alternate” or “hidden” text will appear within your quote. I went to the Tech News World page using Internet Explorer and had no problem copying and pasting correctly (although their inline icons each generated an extra space). With Firefox (which you use, if I recall correctly), I got the hidden text (used for the popups).

    At least in this case, IE appears to be more “blogger friendly.” 😉

  2. BigFire says:

    I eagerly awaiting how many things it will break.

  3. McGehee says:

    BigFire is onto the real scheme. SP2 will break XP just badly enough that by the time Longhorn comes out (in the mid 22nd century by the looks of things) XP users will be eager to pay for it in hopes it will only have as many problems as XP had before the service pack.

    Unbeknownst to Microsoft, however, by the time Longhorn comes out the Mozilla group will have released an operating system that, as with Firefox and IE6, will take the software mega-giant by surprise.

  4. Kathy K says:

    One may hope, McGehee, one may hope…

  5. Boyd says:

    I have serious doubts that Microsoft will allow your wish to come true.