XP SP2 snafu continues, release imminent

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Confusion still abounds over the long anticipated and much beleaguered launch of Microsoft XP SP2.

Confusion still abounds over the long anticipated and much beleaguered
launch of Microsoft XP SP2.

Conflicting reports regarding the launch of Microsoft XP Service pack
2(SP2) -- a major security overhaul of its XP operating system -- have
circulated websites over the past 48 hours.

Microsoft Australia confused matters on Wednesday by accidentally issuing a statement that Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) had been released to manufacturing (RTM). A few hours later the statement was retracted.

The Neowin website reported that Microsoft intended to RTM on Thursday, and included a screenshot which said the release was of build 2179.

Neowin and Windows and .NET magazine both reported Microsoft
will release SP2 via Microsoft Download Centre and MSDN to the web today
and ship it to customers via Windows Update beginning 25 August.

Danny Beck, Microsoft Australia product manager for Windows Client, said
the release was "imminent".  Beck told iTnews Microsoft "held off" on the RTM and would not name a release date.

Beck said there was no guarantee but Microsoft are "working towards" the
date of 26 August.

The delayed release of SP2 has been besieged by other problems.
Earlier this week, Microsoft issued a warning that installation of Windows
XP SP2 will break Outlook Sales client of Microsoft CRM 1.2 -- the newest
version of its software for managing customer relations.

The fix involves an update to the CRM server and Outlook client plus some
manual workarounds, according to the post.

In addition, solution providers claim that SP2 will break custom applications.

SP2 is a major release. For this reason, industry observers have criticised the update's characterisation as a Service Pack. According to Microsoft's own definition, Service Packs aren't supposed to require major reworking or recertification of applications.

Beck said users of XP that had switched on auto-update would see it
"trickle down" over the next week or so.

Microsoft recommend that broadband users of XP turn on auto-update, while
dial up customers should order a free CD available from Microsoft directly
or from various magazines and resellers.

During the worldwide rollout of SP2, Microsoft stated it will localise the
software into 25 different languages and distribute it to computer manufacturers, enterprise customers and consumers through downloads,
retail distribution, free CDs and on new PCs.

Business customers were urged to deploy the service pack on their most
important systems, especially notebooks and work at home computers as soon as practical.

Barbara Darrow contributed to this article.

Siobhan Chapman travelled to TechEd in Canberra as a guest of Microsoft.

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