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Microsoft lists SP2 conflicts

Software giant tells just which programs are having issues with its Service Pack 2 update for Windows XP.

Microsoft has issued a list of nearly 50 software applications and games that may encounter problems with its Windows XP Service Pack 2 update.

In a document published in the "Knowledge Base" section of the company's Web site, Microsoft details the various issues that people may face when they install the SP2 package, which was released to PC manufacturers earlier this month. A range of applications are listed in the Microsoft report, including several of the software maker's own products, along with antivirus tools, Web server software and a handful of games.

Among the primary issues Microsoft highlights in the article are glitches related to the relationship between its Windows firewall system, which is automatically turned on as a security default by SP2, and many of the listed programs. According to the document, the updated firewall may prevent computers from properly connecting to outside networks, limiting systems' abilities to effectively receive data. Some of the problems caused by the update include issues with remote desktops, file sharing, e-mail notifications and online multiplayer games.

Among the most high-profile products listed on the Microsoft document are antivirus applications from Symantec, network management software made by Computer Associates International, and multimedia tools from Macromedia. Microsoft also acknowledges that several of its own products, including Visual Studio .Net, Operations Manager, SQL Server and Systems Management Server software, must be tweaked to work properly with SP2.

Microsoft has already warned that customers using Microsoft Business Solutions CRM Sales for Outlook 1.2 will encounter problems with the software if they install SP2. Microsoft posted a patch to its Web site that it says fixes the problem.

Corporate users have publicly aired concerns regarding the update, with some companies, including IBM, telling their employees to hold off on installing the service package until all of its ramifications can be better understood. However, others have said that the benefits of SP2's updated security features outweigh any immediate administrative concerns caused by the release.

Some companies have already begun informing their customers of problems related to SP2, including online auctioneer eBay, which has posted details of two known issues on a customer support area of its Web site. According to eBay, some features of its toolbar application will not work after installing SP2, and its Enhanced Picture Service will not work at all.