Windows XP Service Pack 2 Prompts Corporate Caution

While eager to take advantage of the enhanced security features of Microsoft’s long-awaited SP2 update, many corporate users of Windows XP will be cautious in activating it.

Microsoft did extensive compatibility testing aimed at ensuring SP2 would work with as many third-party applications as possible, but many network administrators plan to run the update through the paces themselves.

IBM has confirmed that it is telling employees to delay downloading the SP2 update until network administrators can determine potential effects on Big Blue’s systems. Many other companies are expected to follow suit.

Microsoft released the XP SP2 update, which reportedly cost $1 billion to develop, last week. The software maker expects some 100 million updates to be applied within two months. New machines loaded with the updated version of XP will be available starting next month.

While security and antispam features that block malicious code in e-mails and on Web pages have gotten most of the attention, the update also features architecture changes designed to make it harder for hackers to take over a machine remotely if they do gain access.

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