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Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 deployed in only 25% of corporate PCs
Posted on 5-Apr-2005 10:33. | Tags Filed under: News.

AssetMetrix has added a service called Update Policy Manager to its AssetIntelligence framework. With the new feature, IT managers have the ability to enforce corporate policy for updates via Microsoft's Automatic Update service on all PCs within their organizations, without the requirement for Microsoft's Active Directory or SMS.

The company says Update Policy Manager is being launched as the market prepares for 12 April, the date Microsoft has said its Automatic Update service will deliver Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), as much as a 266Mb upgrade, to Windows XP-based PCs. In August 2004 Microsoft responded to customer demands to optionally suspend SP2 delivery via their Automatic Update service for a period of eight months. That suspension expires 12 April.

AssetMetrix Research Labs, the research arm of AssetMetrix, has also announced the results of a study into the level of SP2 penetration in the IT environments of 251 North American corporations, consisting of over 136,000 PCs. The analysis found that only 24% of Windows XP PCs surveyed had upgraded to SP2.

"Microsoft allowed a significant period of time to accommodate companies' demand to test and validate Windows XP SP2 within their IT infrastructure," said Steve O'Halloran, managing director of AssetMetrix Research Labs. "Based on our research, a substantial number of companies have yet to decide whether to accept or embargo Windows XP SP2. To date, we have observed that 40% of companies using Windows XP have actively avoided upgrading to SP2, and only 7% have actively accepted it. The other 52% of the companies showed no direction or policy towards SP2, and may find themselves having support issues by allowing multiple editions of Windows XP to exist in their infrastructure."

Companies choosing not to deploy SP2 will be faced with a host of potential issues, including possible incompatibilities with future products such as Internet Explorer 7, or a potential support gap when Microsoft support for Windows XP Service Pack 1 is withdrawn in September 2006.

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