Windows Upgrade Causing Campus Headaches

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Microsoft Corp.'s decision to release a major upgrade for its flagship operating system in the same month that hundreds of thousands of students are reporting to college campuses across the nation is causing a major headache for the higher education community.

he upgrade, known as Service Pack 2, is designed to patch numerous gaps in Windows XP, the operating system of choice for an estimated 200 million computer users worldwide. The free update includes safeguards against spyware and viruses, a hardened Internet firewall to keep out hackers and upgrades to automate security features and better alert users to security risks on their personal computers. Worried that the upgrade could conflict with other applications running on university networks, and a related concern that thousands of students attempting to download the software could bring campus computer networks to a standstill, technology administrators at some universities have taken steps to block an automatic service that downloads the software.

"The timing is extremely unfortunate," said Anne Agee, deputy chief information officer at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., whose school is blocking automatic installation of SP2 on all faculty and staff computers because the update interferes with software that the university uses to run faculty PCs. "It wouldn't be so bad if we had gotten this more than a month ago, because at least then we would have had plenty of time to test it and make a decision about how we want to correct for this," Agee said.

News source: Yahoo News

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