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Microsoft Delays General Rollout over AU for Windows XP SP2

Microsoft has pushed back the general rollout of Windows XP Service Pack 2 over its Automatic Update delivery channel.

Last week, the company posted a schedule online showing that widespread distribution of the critical, security-focused service pack via the Automatic Update function of Windows Update would begin on Monday. An update to the page shows the release of SP2 via AU is now supposed to start on Wednesday, and even then only for customers running Windows XP Home Edition.

The schedule for SP2 to go out over AU for Windows XP Professional Edition customers is listed vaguely as "later in August."

Microsoft did proceed on Monday with plans to make SP2 available via Software Update Services. Last week, the company posted a network installation version of SP2 on its public Microsoft Download Center and made the service pack available over AU to customers who were already running pre-release versions of SP2.

The change to the schedule was posted to a document describing a tool allowing IT administrators to prevent Windows XP computers in their networks from using AU to automatically downloading and install the service pack. Many IT departments, including IBM's internal IT department, are eager to prevent users from downloading SP2, which is known to break many applications because of its new firewall. The document (available here) doesn't explain the reason for the delay.

The move makes sense in light of Microsoft's public apologies to IT customers last week for the short interval between the announcement of the tool and the date when computers inside corporate computer networks would begin automatically pulling the patch down from Microsoft and installing it.

Because most corporate computers run the professional version of Windows XP, the delay should give those customers more time to test the service pack or install the tool.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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