Windows XP update could cause support chaos

Some analysts are worried that SP2 will cause more problems than it's worth. It's a given that SP2 will break some programs (though that has been improved in recent months), and with the new security features someone somewhere is going to get lost. I expect the improved firewall in SP2 will cause the most problems (especially for those users who don't how to use a firewall).

The major changes to Windows XP brought by Service Pack 2 (SP2) are bound to cause support headaches. Analysts, users, PC makers and Microsoft Corp. all expect a spike in help desk calls. SP2 is due out in the third quarter, so it could be out as soon as next month. The service pack will be downloaded automatically into many PCs through Microsoft's Windows Update service and could create problems, including breaking current applications, disrupting networking set-ups and prompting nontechnical users to make PC configuration decisions that may be beyond their grasp.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is still working on a plan to support the security-focused update. "We're working hard on getting together a support plan," said Matt Pilla, a senior product manager at the software maker in Redmond, Washington. One decision has been made; Microsoft will offer no-charge, worldwide telephone support for the service pack, Pilla said.

Microsoft is returning to its policy to provide free support for service packs after leaving support for Windows XP SP1 to the PC makers, Pilla said. Nevertheless, Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Inc. and Gateway Inc. are also gearing up for the release of SP2 and will support their customers, spokespeople for the PC makers said.

News source: InfoWorld

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