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XP SP2 glitches to trip up one in 10 upgrades - report

SMEs hardest hit by compatibility bugs

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One in 10 corporate PC users will encounter difficulties in upgrading to Windows XP Service Pack 2, according to AssetMetrix. Smaller firms will be hit hardest by compatibility problems between their applications and the much anticipated update of Microsoft's flagship operating system, the Canadian asset management firm says.

Microsoft has issued a list of applications that require modification in order to work properly with XP SP2. The list has been in a state of flux since XP SP2 was released. But based on the current list of approximately 60 applications with SP2 compatibility problems, AssetMetrix reckons that an average company using Windows XP will encounter problems with SP2 on 10.3 per cent of its Windows XP-based PCs.

Win XP SP2 made its debut as a beta in March. It bundles major security revisions and a new Windows update procedure, and additions include: Windows Security Centre; automatically turning on Windows Firewall; and browsing enhancements to Internet Explorer (providing far more control of ActiveX controls, for example).

Problem application require "unblocking" (or manual reconfiguration) because XP SP2 sets Windows Firewall on by default. Other applications suffer a loss of functionality after SP2 is installed. Both types of problems were considered in AssetMetrix's study.

The analysis reviewed the installation of specific software - identified by Microsoft as having various compatibility and functionality issues with SP2 - on more than 44,000 Windows XP-based PCs from over 340 companies. AssetMetrix study showed that companies with less than 100 XP installations had an average impact of around 12 per cent, while larger companies tended to have closer to six per cent of their Windows XP PCs affected. ®

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