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Patch pre-empts problem in Windows update

Flaw in upcoming Windows XP Service Pack 2 conflicts with Microsoft business program.

Microsoft has issued a warning that the newest version of its software for managing customer relations will not work with the company's next Windows update.

Customers using Microsoft Business Solutions CRM Sales for Outlook 1.2 will encounter problems with the software if they install the forthcoming Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) update, the company said this week.

Microsoft has posted a patch to its Web site that it says fixes the problem.

Microsoft said users of its customer relationship management (CRM) software will also need to update their server software and Outlook client software. They'll also have to manually configure several features of the CRM software to get it to work properly.

Windows XP SP2 is expected to be available to customers later this month. SP2 will contain a number of new features. Most of the improvements deal with security, including an improved firewall and a "security center" that provides a view of a PC's key protection settings.

The company's CRM software has required several patches of late. Last year, Microsoft issued a patch that hid a string of letters and numbers that would otherwise be seen in the subject line of e-mails.