Microsoft CRM Customers: Don’t Use SP2 Yet

Microsoft has announced the release of its Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), but has noted that Microsoft CRM 1.0 and 1.2 are not compatible with the update yet.

The company has stated that enhanced security features in SP2 changes some of the default behaviors of Internet Explorer and desktop security zones. As a result, Microsoft CRM customers have been advised not to download the update because it will conflict with the CRM application.

In an interview with CRM Buyer, a Microsoft spokesperson said that there is already a fix in place for CRM 1.2, so customers who want to use SP2 must upgrade to 1.2 and then apply the workaround.

Beagle Research founder Denis Pombriant told CRM Buyer that the glitch is a big problem, but that he does not imagine Microsoft will let it stand for long. “I would expect that Microsoft will have a solution for those customers pretty soon,” he said. “They’re usually pretty good about that sort of thing.”

Updated Info

Microsoft’s SP2 has encountered numerous delays on its way to market, but it will finally be ready for end users later this month. The update should be automatically distributed to approximately 100 million PCs during the next two months.

The software adds a security center that should give users stronger firewall protection as well as more ways to tell whether a computer is adequately protected against viruses.

On the Microsoft Software Developer Network portal, the company noted that SP2 is more than a normal roll-up of bug fixes. It said, “It is also being used to deliver a significant upgrade to enhance Windows XP security.”

CRM and SP2 Don’t Mix

Even before it released SP2, the company predicted that some applications could be disrupted. It announced the problem with the CRM applications on August 2 in its online download center. According to the company, Microsoft CRM version 1.0 simply does not operate on Windows XP with SP2 installed.

For CRM 1.2, the download advisory reads, “Microsoft CRM version 1.2 requires updates to both the Microsoft Server and the Outlook client and several manual configuration workarounds to operate properly.”

Version 1.2 provides a variety of customer service tools for companies that conduct business online.

Pombriant noted that it is likely larger enterprises will be some of the first to download SP2, with smaller companies following within a few months. This is important, he said, because the majority of Microsoft CRM customers are small companies.

Because the updates will take longer to get to them, it is likely that the problems with the CRM application being experienced now will not be relevant later. “Basically, they’ll be waiting anyway,” said Pombriant. “By then, Microsoft will probably have fixed it.”

Warning Shot

Customers of Microsoft CRM applications might not be surprised to hear about the incompatibility with SP2. “We have been advising customers throughout the SP2 development process that some applications, including Microsoft’s own, would need updates in order to work as intended with SP2,” said the Microsoft spokesperson.

Web developers in particular have been warned repeatedly to examine XP changes to make crucial code changes, and Microsoft even created an online training course to explain the intricacies of the security-centric update.

The company noted that even though the incompatibility problems exist with its CRM application, it is confident that customers will benefit from the update.

“SP2 is a significant step toward Microsoft’s goal of making PCs more resilient in the face of evolving threats,” the spokesperson said, and added that it is also in line with the company’s goal to make Windows XP more secure by default.

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