CIO jury: Wait-and-see on Windows XP SP2

Fears over stability and impact on systems forces caution on immediate installation as two-thirds of the CIO jury will play the waiting game.

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By Andy McCue

Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) is a complex update with many ramifications for IT pros. TechRepublic's Windows XP Service Pack 2 Quick Guide drills down on critical SP2 need-to-know areas, with sections on fundamentals, changes that occur after installation, deployment procedures, problem areas, and removal.

Businesses are preparing to adopt a 'wait-and-see' approach to Microsoft's security update Service Pack 2 for Windows XP because of concerns over its stability and impact on existing systems.

Microsoft's long-awaited and delayed Windows XP SP2 was finally at the end of last week and will be made available to users in download and CD over the coming weeks.

But many IT bosses have said they will SP2 and do testing on the update while watching how other early adopter firms cope.

Graham Yellowley, director of technology at Tokyo-Mitsubishi bank, is not planning to install SP2 until the fourth quarter this year.

"We have sufficient security measures in place to stop viruses etc reaching the desktop so additional security there is not required. In addition there will need to be a lot of testing to evaluate the changes and differences within SP2 before we build it into our standard build," he said.

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Pete Smith, director of IT and telecoms, Inmarsat, said: "Understanding exactly what’s in the service pack and how stable it is will be our first priority. As soon as we have confidence that it does not have any problems we will implement it to all XP users."

But Gavin Whatrup, IT director at advertising agency Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners welcomed the new security features Microsoft has included.

"The additional security features will give rise to a significant amount of customisation and testing before roll-out. A big release from Microsoft which is well focussed, but with a large administrative overhead," he said.

Check out the full verdict on Windows XP SP2 from a panel of leading IT chiefs on's latest CIO Jury.