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Another day, another delay for XP SP2

XP Pro users must wait a little bit longer

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Microsoft has delayed the automatic distribution of a major upgrade to Windows XP Professional for at least another week.

The 272MB enterprise version of SP2 was released earlier this month and a smaller consumer version - weighing in at around 80MB - was due to be available through Windows Update on 16 August. Under the latest revision of Microsoft's timetable, the update won't be available to users of XP Professional until at least 25 August, AP reports. Win XP Home users with automatic update switched on will be fed the update beginning later today (18 August). Home users running beta versions of SP2 have already been updated.

Microsoft said it is revising its timetable to give organisations more time to test SP2. The release, which made its debut as a beta back in March, bundles major security revisions and a new Windows update procedure. A complete XP SP2 fix list can be found here.

Microsoft is placing great store in SP2's ability to protect users against hackers and worms; but the upgrade is going nowhere near as smoothly as Redmond may have hoped.

Microsoft has released a list of about 50 games and other packages that clash with Windows Firewall, which SP2 turns on by default. More seriously, it has released a list of 210 applications that "behave differently" after users install Win XP SP2. The list of applications with compatibility problems with Win XP SP2 includes games (e.g. Unreal Tournament), security packages (e.g. McAfee VirusScan 7) and even some flavours of Microsoft's own Office applications.

Meanwhile, eBay has warned users that SP2 breaks some of its applications. Elsewhere, German site Heise Security reports a pair of possible vulnerabilities in SP2's bolstered security defences. Microsoft says these bugs are not a security threat, but it has already had to issue a fix to resolve a separate bug with SP2. So SP2 has already been patched ahead of its widespread availability. ®

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