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Microsoft To Delay Automatic XP SP2 Updates

Microsoft has announced it will delay by slightly more than a week the planned distribution of the security service pack via automatic update. Corporations, as has become clear, are in no hurry to install SP2; companies want the ability to prevent employees from downloading it in an overzealous attempt to secure their networks… (full USA Today article)

In my IT conference this week, I brought up this exact issue for the clients we serve. The problem lies in the point the user can unknowingly fully open their workstations up to attack as user is given more control over virus and firewall protection. As I was stating this fact on Monday, Microsoft release the notice of the delay via email. Here is the quoted email:

Just in from MS: As you know, Microsoft recently released Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) to manufacturing on Friday, August 6, 2004. You may also know that Microsoft will deliver Windows XP SP2 through the Automatic Update delivery mechanism in Windows as a critical update. This process began on Tuesday, August 10.

Since some of our customers, such as your organization, utilize Automatic Update for a collection of your PC’s, and since your organization may not yet be prepared to deploy Windows XP SP2 onto those machines, we recently made available a mechanism for temporarily blocking the download of Windows XP SP2 to those machines using Automatic Update. Last week, we received feedback from our corporate customers that they would like more time to put this temporary blocking mechanism into place. Based on that feedback, we have altered the delivery schedule of Windows XP SP2. The machines in your organization using Automatic Update will not receive Windows XP SP2 until Wednesday, August 25 – at the earliest – as long as those machines are running Windows XP Professional Edition.

Here is a summary of the altered delivery schedule for Windows XP SP2:

8/6 Release to manufacturing

8/9 Release to Microsoft Download Center (full network installation package)
Release to MSDN subscription site (CD ISO image)

8/10 Release to Automatic Update (for machines running pre-release versions of Windows XP SP2 only)

8/16 Release to Software Update Services

8/18 Release to Automatic Update for users running Windows XP Home Edition only

8/25 Release to Automatic Update for all Windows XP users including those running Windows XP Professional Edition
Release to Windows Update for interactive user installations

Also on Monday, Microsoft released the Temporarily Disabling Delivery of Windows XP Service Pack 2 Through Windows Update and Automatic Updates.

So once again, if you plan to update to SP2, read the articles above and along with the Windows XP SP2 artcle I posted earlier first and then choose.

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Filed under: Windows XP

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