August 25, 2004 6:24 AM PDT

Microsoft offers SP2 compatibility guide

Microsoft has launched a do-it-yourself kit to help IT professionals assess their software's compatibility with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Fears among system administrators and IT managers that SP2 may break homegrown applications have already led to delays in corporate launches. To get users back on track and keep developers' blood pressure down, Microsoft is offering the application compatibility testing guide.

The guide, which can be retrieved from Microsoft's Download Center, is designed to help administrators "test and mitigate application compatibility issues." Microsoft adds that the guide is meant for a network of any size and is "as relevant to peer-to-peer environments as it is to Active Directory environments."

At more than 100 pages, the guide doesn't make for light reading. It covers the havoc that SP2 could wreak on machines running Windows XP, how to go about testing for incompatibility issues and how to fix the problems that come up. The guide also provides two possible deployment road maps for businesses unsure about how to launch the service pack.

In the guide, Microsoft warns: "increasing security in the network environment can result in legitimate applications or features not operating as expected...Applications that were not designed to meet these higher security requirements may experience some compatibility issues."

The guide gives advice about how to reconfigure XP to help keep applications on their feet but adds: "This procedure is not recommended but may be necessary in the short term." The party line from Microsoft, however, is that it's the applications, not the operating system, that should be rejiggered and that security settings should always be left at their highest level once administrators have finished tinkering.

Microsoft is well aware of how SP2 can affect applications; the software behemoth has already published a list of nearly 50 programs that face problems if the service pack is installed. Microsoft has also had to issue a patch that allows its CRM (customer relationship management) product to continue working once SP2 is installed.

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MS assumes again
and fo those of us NOT running M$ word on our systems, cannot read the lovley BUG guide from M$, like always, they have assumed we like thier products....HEY MICROSLOTH make it RTF or at least compatable with industry standard readers......
Posted by Migamix (2 comments )
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MSFT & Bureacracy & Security
They try hard. As statistics have proven, they win more often than they lose. Technology is no longer the issue per se, for they are far ahead in that area. Their essential issues, as I have repeatedly blogged, are two: (1) It is essential, under American monopoly regs, they recatagorize the firm out of "Software" and into "Utility"; and take it private. Their goal in SP2 was to provide more security, which has backfired on users who run Norton/Symantec, Checkpoint/ZoneLabs, CA/McAfee, etc programs. (2) The issue they must address urgently is delayering their bureaucracy to act more entrepreneurially/swiftly. IE 6+ is a fine browser, just like most others. It is subject to attack because it is so dominent globally; ergo, we see the recent run into other browsers. Is it not time that MSFT offerred consumers their choice of browser?
Posted by malabrm1 (36 comments )
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