Microsoft is warning clients of its Microsoft CRM package that the application will not work properly if users download the latest service pack for Microsoft Windows XP. The service pack, SP2, is intended to close a number of security holes in the operating system.
To be fair, Microsoft has been warning software developers for some time that SP2 will cause problems for existing applications unless developers make specific code changes. But one would think that Microsoft would ensure that its own applications were properly updated before releasing SP2.
Having said that, it's better that Microsoft tighten security of the OS, even if it means breaking older applications.
By the way, if CIOs have not already done so, now would be a good time to implement centralized administration of desktop operating systems, rather than let individual users visit Windowsupdate.com whenever they feel like it. Although most larger companies centrally administer desktops, that's not the case in many smaller organization. Rollout of a major change, such as SP2, should be done in a controlled fashion, with a full-blown pilot test to identify potential application problems and plan for remediation.
Internet.com has details on the how SP2 can be disruptive
to existing systems.
Now IBM is telling its employees to hold off on applying SP2 until a more thorough analysis can be done:
In the memo to employees, seen by CNET News.com, IBM's internal technology department stated that Windows XP SP2 will "change the behavior of Internet Explorer and cause some application incompatibilities." The memo also noted that some "high-profile, business-critical applications are also known to conflict with SP2."
CNET has more