Feeds

Microsoft hopes third time is lucky with XP SP3 update

Sets server release dates despite MIA SQL server

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft yesterday got out its big red felt pen and marked a few release dates on the calendar.

Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 will both land in November this year. Meanwhile, Windows XP service pack three (SP3) will finally be pushed out “shortly”.

The software giant has been forced to delay the automatic web release of XP SP3 twice, so presumably it will be hoping the third time's the charm with the service pack’s auto-release.

Microsoft senior technical account manager Nick MacKechnie offered up some classic (i.e. vague) Redmond speak on his blog yesterday: “Microsoft is committed to providing quality products to customers. As part of this commitment, we would like to remind you that Windows XP service pack three will be released to Automatic Updates shortly,” he said.

The company originally released XP SP3 as an automatic download in late April. However, it was pulled at the eleventh hour with Microsoft blaming a “compatibility issue” with Dynamics RMS for the embarrassing blunder.

Microsoft admitted it had no choice but to suspend the mass distribution via its Windows Update site for XP SP3 and Vista SP1 while it attempted to fix the glitch in its specialist point-of-sale (PoS) app – Dynamics RMS – which is used to manage about 38,000 different small to medium-sized retail businesses worldwide.

A week later, the service pack leapt into the tubes only for Vista-shy customers to discover yet another major snafu that once again forced Microsoft to halt distribution.

It said that the endless reboot cock-up experienced by so many frustrated customers related, in part, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including Hewlett-Packard and Dell, loading the wrong "Sysprepped" XP image on to machines with non-Intel chipsets.

The firm also admitted that the XP SP3 problem was not a new issue. In fact, Microsoft first identified the glitch when Windows XP SP2 was released some four years ago.

Microsoft's XP announcement came just a week after the company stopped retail sales of the operating system and barred computer vendors from installing it on most new PCs.

Meanwhile, the firm was yesterday bold enough to give an exact date for the launch of its new server products – on 12 November Small Business Server 2008 and Windows Essential Business Server 2008 will be released.

So, small biz companies that are increasingly struggling amidst talk of global recession, will be able to get their mitts on the products just before Christmas. We at El Reg doubt that many will view that as Santa climbing down the chimney early, however.

Microsoft already published product pricing in May, but a release to manufacturing won't happen until late August to early September. The firm has blamed SQL Server 2008's delay – it should have launched in late February – for the sluggish delivery of its brace of server products.

The firm remains quiet on when customers can expect to see SQL Server 2008. Presumably it will arrive before 12 November otherwise users people will once again be able to purchase another incomplete product from Microsoft. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cloudy CoreOS Linux distro declares itself production-ready
Lightweight, container-happy Linux gets first Stable release
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.