What to make of SP2 adoption study

Tech Culture

Folks here have been trying to wrap their heads around what to make of a new study on business use of Windows XP Service Pack 2. According to AssetMetrix, only about one-quarter of those who use Windows XP have installed the big security-related update.

One editor asked whether Microsoft got much for all the time and effort it put into SP2 if only a fourth of business PCs have even installed last year's update. Of course, businesses also have their own corporate firewalls and security settings that many home users lack without SP2.

What struck me about the study is that more than half of businesses were neither blocking users from moving to SP2 nor were they actively moving to update all machines. One read of that is that the incompatibility fears were probably not as bad as some feared, nor are the benefits so clear.

Also interesting was the contrast between the AssetMetrix study and a Microsoft survey last year that found three-quarters of businesses plan to deploy SP2 by the middle of this year. A lot hinges on what companies meant by "deploy." If it means fully deploy, it appears businesses have a lot of work to do in the next three months.

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