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. ®