A special tool that blocks the download of Service Pack 2 (SP2) on Windows XP PCs will expire Tuesday, ending the last SP2 respite for users who rely on the Automatic Updates feature in Windows to keep their systems up to date. Microsoft released SP2 in August last year. Taken aback by customers who use Automatic Updates, but were not prepared to deal with the service pack, Microsoft provided a way to set a Windows registry key that instructs the system to skip downloading and installing SP2, but still download other critical updates.
Initially the respite was for 120 days. But faced with concerns from IT professionals, Microsoft doubled that to allow more time to prepare for the mammoth update. On April 12 the blocking mechanism will expire and Automatic Updates and the Windows Update Web site will deliver SP2 regardless of the block. "I am ready for XP SP2 now," said Thomas Smith, manager of desktop engineering at a large Houston-based company. Smith blocked the SP2 download on the 5,000 PCs he manages.
News source: InfoWorld