Monday, March 07, 2005

Microsoft's SP-2 - now or later?

Well, do we have a choice?

Many of us have been disabling the update of Windows Service Pack 2 but as of April 12th, Microsoft announced it will be "delivering" the update whether we want it or not. Our eight month "grace period" is ending.

"UPDATE: Time is running out! Please note that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 is only available for a period of 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004. At the end of this period (after April 12, 2005), Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) contains major security improvements designed to provide better protection against hackers, viruses, and worms. Windows XP SP2 also improves the manageability of the security features in Windows XP and provides more and better information to help users make decisions that may potentially affect their security and privacy. Because of these significant improvements, Microsoft views Windows XP SP2 as an essential security update and is therefore distributing it as a “critical update” via Windows Update (WU) and the Automatic Updates (AU) delivery mechanism in Windows. Microsoft strongly urges customers with Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1-based systems to update to Windows XP SP2 as soon as possible."

Or.... they'll do it for you!

As before, our advice remains:

1. Don't use the Microsoft products that make you vulnerable to security breaches: Internet Explorer, Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Media Player.

2. Order the free CD from Microsoft to load the update when you want, so you can undo the process in one 'system restore' instead of piecemeal when it downloads and applies the updates.

3. Keep backups, of course, and be ready to do a system restore if it unravels any of your work.

We are not responsible for any problems resulting from the installation of the Service Pack, or avoidance of the installation. Each user needs to make their own decisions, and you can read much more about this at