August 10, 2004 6:50 AM PDT

CIOs: No hurry to install SP2 upgrade

Concerns about stability and the impact on existing systems will cause many companies to delay the installation of Microsoft's Windows XP Service Pack 2 update, according to a poll of chief information officers.

Microsoft's long-awaited and much-delayed Windows XP SP2 was finally sent off to PC manufacturers last week and will be made available to users via Internet download and CD over the coming weeks.

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But many IT bosses, surveyed by Silicon.com, a CNET News.com sister site, have said they will refrain from installing SP2 and do testing on the update while watching how other early-adopter companies cope.

Graham Yellowley, director of technology at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, is not planning to install SP2 until the fourth quarter.

"We have sufficient security measures in place to stop viruses, etc., reaching the desktop, so additional security there is not required. In addition, there will need to be a lot of testing to evaluate the changes and differences within SP2 before we build it into our standard build," he said.

Pete Smith, director of IT and telecommunications at communications provider Inmarsat, said: "Understanding exactly what's in the service pack and how stable it is will be our first priority. As soon as we have confidence that it does not have any problems, we will implement it to all XP users."

Those comments reflect the concerns of other businesses, such as computer industry giant IBM, which last week told employees to hold off installing SP2 until Big Blue can fully test and customize it.

But some companies are willing to install SP2 now, given the increase in security that it promises. Gavin Whatrup, IT director at advertising agency Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, welcomed the new security features Microsoft has included.

"The additional security features will give rise to a significant amount of customization and testing before rollout. A big release from Microsoft which is well-focused, but with a large administrative overhead," he said.

Check out the full verdict on Windows XP SP2 from a panel of leading IT chiefs on Silicon.com's latest CIO Jury. Through CIO Jury, Silicon.com asks a pool of CIOs, IT directors and other heads of IT about key technology developments. Respondents reply with a "guilty" or "not guilty" verdict and with arguments to back up their vote. Silicon.com uses comments from the first 12 respondents.

Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.

2 comments

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Microsoft SP 2
I don't think Microsoft should have issued SP 2 so quickly. Personally I will not download SP 2 until more independent testing has been done. SP 1 plus the additional security features I've added work just fine in my case, pending further testing. But, to each his own. Regards, dejc/aadservices.
Posted by dejc (4 comments )
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DON'T RUSH! Don't Walk or crawl. Just Don't!
Don't install! If you want to see a perfectly healthy PC become deathly ill; acting as if it were quickly, yes, very quickly dying of some incurable "slow as molasses" illness, that squeezes it's brain into chocolate pudding wasabi toothpaste, as you sit and stare helplessly, pushing keys and stabbing, even pounding on buttons on this now useless shell of a keyboard, that mere moments before had meaning and purpose; the cursor blinking, mocking like some distant heartbeat fading, fading, fading.... into nothing. If you like that sort of thing than by all means install SP2. If you liked all the adventure and intrigue that Windows 98SE brought to your personal computing then SP2 is the one for you! It felt just like old times.
OH, YEAH! And what the man said about "backup." I say go all the way and copy everything first!!! Because when you can't access your C:\ drive, AT ALL, you will at least have the satisfaction of knowing that this Weapon of Mass Destruction, this SP-2, almost took it all away. HUH!
Come on now! Wipe the tear. Stiff upper lip.
Get out your Windows XP sp1 CD and format the old hard drive and start all over again! Yeah. They tried and they'll try again. Learn from my mistakes. Don't install!!!
And if you see my poor upgraded SP2 PC's lost soul wandering around in the void someday, whisper a little prayer and tell 'em I'm sorry for ([check box]) "Always trusting downloads from Microsoft.com."
Aloha...wkb...in the middle of the sea....
Posted by kahe55 (2 comments )
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