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January 17, 2006

This week’s Windows XP support kerfuffle: SP3 delayed to 2007

Posted by David Hunter at 5:34 PM ET. notices that Microsoft delays Windows XP Service Pack 3 from 2006 to 2007!:

2 weeks ago I posted my annual list of what we can expect for this year. WinXP SP3 was also mentioned in the list, I put it in summer 2006 as I had several sources for this, including this official list.

Now it seems Microsoft silently changed the release date to 2007, while the publishing date of the list remains unchanged. Maybe I checked the list before that date, but I’m quite sure I didn’t.

Last year in April, Ballmer said windows XP sp3 would ship before “Longhorn” comes out. Now it will be a year later: 2nd half or 2007!!!

Anyway this sucks of course, in my opinion Windows should get a SP every year until the general support is dropped.

As the article points out, the primary function of a service pack is to roll up all the released fixes to a checkpoint so that it is easier to deploy new systems for both home and business users. Techies who have to do multiple installs will likely go the trouble of using privately created service packs, while home users just get to grin and bear it.

Finally, hearkening back to last week, here’s some more on the mysterious extension of mainstream support for Windows Home edition about which Joe Wilcox was less obtuse than I:

A Microsoft spokesperson told CNET that posting on lifecycle support was incorrect. Really? I find that hard to believe. The posted support period is consistent with Microsoft’s lifecycle support policy of five years for consumer products. It’s not like the first time Microsoft has heard about this support time period. I first blogged about it in May 2004, and others have pointed out the looming deadline since then.

Way I see it, Microsoft more likely extended the deadline. I see nothing wrong with that approach, or telling the news media that’s what happened. Microsoft has extended support before and should be commended for taking the right approach. The wrong approach would be to use the end of support as a way of driving upgrades. Microsoft’s not doing that.

Beats me why they are so shy about doing the right thing. Of course, my view is that they should provide five additional years of free security fixes just like they are planning to do for Windows XP Professional customers. Why not take credit for that too?

It’s probably not a glamor job at Microsoft, but maybe they should pay a bit more attention to support policy making, since it has such a large potential to annoy customers.

Filed under General Business, OS - Client, Obsolescence, Public Relations, Windows XP

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One Response to “This week’s Windows XP support kerfuffle: SP3 delayed to 2007”

  1. Windows XP and Server 2003 service packs move right -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] XP SP3 had already been delayed from 2006 to 2007 and this latest move received a poor reception with Vista marketing conspiracy theories abounding. Whatever the Microsoft rationale, the primary utility of a late service pack like SP3 is to roll up all the fixes since the last service pack - in this case, XP SP2 in August 2004 making nearly 4 years of patches. Given the number of monthly security patches Microsoft is generating these days, it’s already quite an annoyance installing an XP SP2 system and then downloading and applying all the patches and it’ll only get worse. That’s why 3rd parties are creating their own rollups (e.g. autopatcher) in the absence of official service packs. With the users creating their own security patches and their own service packs maybe Microsoft ought to consider subcontracting? [...]

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