Windows Service Pack refuseniks offered temporary respite
Microsoft has released a tool that allows enterprises to side-step a wave of upcoming Windows service packs.
SPBlockerTools toolkit will temporarily defer the installation of Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1 to allow testing for up to a year following the release of the updates. Windows XP SP3 is due sometime in the first half of 2008. Vista SP1 will probably arrive earlier, as it's pencilled in for availability in Q1 2008.
The blocker toolkit can be used to put a hold on updates of both Windows client desktop service packs as well as Windows Server 2003 SP2 for a shorter period up until March 2008. The toolkit includes a script, an executable, and a template. The three different options are designed to suit different sizes of computing environments.
Redmond has supplied similar blocking utilities in the past including software to defer the application of IE7, and before that Windows 2003 SP2 and Windows XP SP2.
The idea in all cases is to create a means for firms to test the application of the software within their environment and roll out changes gradually, rather than dealing with a Big Bang upgrade. As with similar software packages the latest tools only delay the application of service packs. ®
@ Colin Millar
> You really need to get out more
Hmmm... I guess tips for Windows 95 doesn't apply anymore, doesn't it?
@Looking forward to SP3
erm.. your users are allowed internet access while roaming?!?
that's why VPNs were created... not the checkpoint type that allows LAN, internet and VPN, but the cisco type that locks off your computer to anything except VPN...
<quote> Moving from Windoze to Linux is easy next to the downgrade to Vista, for a single computer or an organization with thousands. How many times do you have to suffer upgrade abuse before you get off the treadmill? The sooner, the better because M$ is only making things harder. Your users will thank you. </quote>
Until the factory stops working because of a piece of software that will only run under real windows 2000 fails. Yeah, great idea!!!
<quote>Doesn't this increase the mainstream support period for Windows XP? I would have expected a "Windows XP SP2 Rollup Package" or something, but not an honest-to-goodness Service Pack.</quote>
Yeah, or maybe SP3 has some code in it that makes XP run so bad that it will make Vista look good!!!
Get off M$'s treadmill
Even if you have many PCs, if they are networked PCs, they usually can boot PXE. Install LTSP from LTSP.org, K12LTSP, Debian, etc. on a powerful server on the LAN and you can convert a lot of machines to GNU/Linux very quickly. It may take only a couple of minutes per PC to make the PXE option available. Some distros, like K12LTSP or EdUbuntu have an installation option to set up an LTSP server. A new 8-way server choked with RAM and storage can serve a lot of PCs. Then your desktop management problems are cut way down. If you like the thin client solution, you can buy small fanless boxes that bolt onto the back of an LCD monitor (Vesa) for about $100. It is not impossible to convert a large organization of desktop users over a weekend. Give them a training session Monday AM and you are good to go. I did that last year. I handed out password lists to managers, gave the managers a one hour intro and it worked.
If you are already using thin clients, just back up the data for users and install it on a new server and you are done. Shut down all the clients and when they boot they are running Linux.
The fewer than 20% of situations that need some special app can be left on that other OS or migrated to a FLOSS substitute. All the generic stuff is already in the Debian distro. See http://packages.debian.org
Looking forward to SP3
I just applied the GPO to stop our 2000+ desktops updating to SP3. Microsoft usually supply tools to control updates like this (for example we will not be using dog slow IE7 - ever), and it's a good thing as here we will need to test our apps and systems to ensure they work with SP3 before we roll it out when we are ready and in a controlled fashion using SMS.
As for being 'freaks' and not using WSUS, we have a lot of laptops and I'd rather they just update themselves wherever they may be rather than having to wait until they connect back at base. And no, I don't want to present a MS WSUS server to the internet thankyouverymuch. Only a lunatic connects Windows directly to the Internet.