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Windows XP SP3 Postponed Until 2008 259

Rockgod quotes an article saying "With Microsoft now saying that its next major service pack for Windows XP will not ship until 2008, some Windows users are wondering whether the software upgrade will ever be released." and then later "Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, agrees that Microsoft may very well decide to drop XP Service Pack 3. "It absolutely could happen. Microsoft is under no obligation to produce any service packs, ever," he explains. "They feel that because these fixes are available through the auto-update that there's less need to create a service pack."
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Windows XP SP3 Postponed Until 2008

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  • by Skevin ( 16048 ) * on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:36AM (#16593292) Journal
    > Microsoft is under no obligation to produce any service packs, ever

    In fact, I would love for them to completely stop. It would encourage more people to reverse engineer the kernel, or better yet, switch. (Notice that last word is lower case.)

    Solomon Chang
  • by Shawn is an Asshole ( 845769 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:39AM (#16593338)
    Provide an update rollout? Really, have you seen the massive amount of updates required to apply against SP2 on a fresh install?
  • Sounds sensible (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clickclickdrone ( 964164 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:40AM (#16593354)
    The whole SP thing is a throwback to the bad old days of 28.8k modems and CDs by post. Now we can add the fixes as they come along so why bother with a monolithic chunk of code that must be a testing nightmare for MS as well as corporate end users?
    The only thing I can see that will be missed is that SPs often slipped in a new feature or two but no doubt someone somewhere thought it would be good business to stop that and insist people plonk down the $ for Vista. As per usual with suits, that's short term thinking. If you're being obliged to do a full OS upgrade you may as well consider other options like Linux.
  • by jedimastermopar ( 1015773 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:41AM (#16593380)
    Why bother at all? The next breathe M$ makes is that Vista is going to be out very soon since RC2 is out and is the final release before vista goes gold?
  • by owlstead ( 636356 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#16593396)
    "They feel that because these fixes are available through the auto-update that there's less need to create a service pack."

    Yes, much more fun for all those admins at high secure locations (without internet access). It is almost impossible to install a new Windows machine using XP, since you will have to do a lot of updating after the installation itself. Even if you have a dedicated server this is a real pain, since you will have to wait for all the tiny updates to complete. It's hard enough to get Internet Explorer or DirectX installed as it is.

    And those with only a modem will really enjoy this. Previously you just bought a CD-ROM with the service pack. Not anymore it seems.
  • It's obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jackharrer ( 972403 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:42AM (#16593410)
    Microsoft will not produce SP3 because of very simple reason: they want Vista to replace XP. It's cash, a lot of it.
    Everybody knows that Win XP has more holes than swiss cheese. And it started to get Joe User. So they will upgrade just because of being scared of 'all those viruses, you know...'. So they'll be effectively forced to buy new system. And Miscosoft will be able to withdraw support for XP faster - which is good for them - they don't earn any cash from supporting it and it costs a lot.
    I think they'll not make the same mistake like with Win2000 that is still quite alive and kicking because of good compatibility with XP and SP3 they released for it.
    We can expect that Vista will quite fast become quite 'not exactly' compatible with XP. And without SP3 situation will get only worse. That's called strategy. On a big scale.
  • by winchester ( 265873 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:47AM (#16593480)
    Sounds like what happened with Windows 2000. Service pack 5 never materialised, but a security roll-up package was released to somewhat satisfy major customers. My guess is that the same thing will happen with Windows XP. A security roll-up package will be released at some point because the number of post-SP2 patches is approaching insane amounts. But other than that, Microsoft will be far, far too busy pushing Longhorn Server out of the door.
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @10:57AM (#16593662)

    Yes, I'm sure Joe Sixpack is going to switch to Apple/Linux because SP3 for XP wasn't released...

    Unlikely, but the previous poster did not mention who he thought might be motivated. Johnny Systems Engineer might be more motivated to migrate his enterprise to Linux if SP3 is never released and he must choose between upgrading all machines and replacing many of them outright, or finally funding that Linux migration the junior sysadmin has been trying to sell him on.

  • by jav1231 ( 539129 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:00AM (#16593708)
    Maybe not but many people might when Microsoft decides in 2k8 that it not only isn't releasing an SP but it's EOL'ing XP. It's perception, people. Right now a lot of folks are thinking, "Okay, so now I'll be adding a shitload of patches after I install with no foreseeable time when they will be rolled together and make my life easier."
    The fact is, Microsoft is making dumb decisions. Threatening to cripple Vista and now this. Personally, I hope they do everything they have said they will do.
    Maybe people will wake up and switch to SOMEthing else.
  • by javilon ( 99157 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:05AM (#16593772) Homepage
    This has to do with WGA. With a service pack, you can just burn a cd, install Windows XP without the network plugged and then upgrade the installation to the latest SP without having to connect to the network.

    M$ doesn't want you to be able to do that. They want you to use the network updater so they can test the validity of your license.

    Whether you are in a highly secure setting without internet access or behind a modem in a 3rd world country, they don't care. They want to check your license.

  • by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <tomstdenis@gmCOMMAail.com minus punct> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:31AM (#16594216) Homepage
    Unless you are building that box in a lab which is ALREADY infected.

    When I was in college we had our own removal hard drives and it wasn't that uncommon for the students to bring them home, get infected with EVERYTHING and then bring it to the lab.

    Sometimes being secure out of the box, even for the box, is important.

  • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:33AM (#16594258)
    Except of course all those updates are available and can be installed without Windows Update.

    Nice conspiracy theory, though.
  • by Ixne ( 599904 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:44AM (#16594426)
    You're completely missing the fact that this means that SP3 will come out a year after Vista ships. This means that, in effect, enterprise systems will have to decide if they want to remain with unpatched XP systems or upgrade to Vista.

    This is obvious planning by MS to not cannibalize their Vista sales by giving an "incentive" to "upgrade" to Vista.
  • by laffer1 ( 701823 ) <luke@ f o o l i s h g a m es.com> on Thursday October 26, 2006 @11:54AM (#16594590) Homepage Journal
    There are training issues with Vista as well. It does not look just like XP. Some users freak out when the "screens" are different. If someone picked a windows like environment such as KDE, end users might believe its the new Windows version. They still have to learn new screens either way. Remember the new MS Office version also has a face lift. IE7 is now different looking.. the transition from IE6 to firefox, IE7 or another browser is the same. This is the time to do it. Microsoft has set everyone up to switch. They felt they had to change the UI to get people to upgrade and it might just cost them a few percent market share in the long run.
  • by dan828 ( 753380 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @01:13PM (#16596128)
    Some users freak out when the "screens" are different.

    It's one of those things that get glossed over by most slashdotters, but a good portion of people that use computers for their jobs do not like them and absolutely hate it when anything is changed. Where a lot of us will dual or triple boot different OSes, and spend hours tweaking things to just like we want, only to reformat and start over with something else, these people have invested time to learn how to use a tool and don't want to have to learn how to do something new-- it's just time wasted that could be spend better elsewhere.

    I once did an upgrade at a job where I was the entire IT department, and made everyone move to Outlook from what had been a mixed environment, with a good amount of people using Outlook express. One of the buyers was so upset by the switch from Outlook Express to Outlook, that she didn't talk to me for two months.

    Eye candy, new features, etc., are only wanted by a subset of the user base, Jenny Officeworker, for the most part, would like things to stay the same, and doesn't want to retrain on something new. In the long run, they'll stick with what they know or the next closest thing if they have to change.
  • Pot meet kettle (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 26, 2006 @01:23PM (#16596340)
    You see prencher, the parent made the same mistake he's accusing others of. He lives in a box and doesn't realize it. He accused the GP of being closed minded/not realistic about the numbers of people who might switch to Macs. He then assumed his position from somewhere inside the IT industry was representative of the larger market. In other words, he's just as closed minded/brainwashed as the "Mac fanboys".
  • by powerlord ( 28156 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @01:33PM (#16596500) Journal
    Joe Sixpack isn't going to buy Vista though - to install on their current computer. Their going to get rid of the computer they have, and buy a new one with Vista on it.

    Yes, and the price of a MacMini is very competitive, and lets him use his existing Video, Keyboard and Mouse, and get all the "latest" hardware bells and whistles in a small package.
  • Migration tools (Score:3, Insightful)

    by steve_l ( 109732 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @02:39PM (#16597868) Homepage
    you know, this makes me think how to make it easier to migrate. Something like a tool that runs on windows to prepare the system (decrypt EFS files, record hardware and network settings from the registry), maybe even copy files to a remote network share (or to a gmail account created for the purpose).

    Then the linux installer would take over, move you from FAT32/NTFS to ext3, restore enough windows config settings to make your linux install look the same. Screen background, saver, favourites, all those things should go over. Printers, fileshares &c, all there.

    That'd be slick. Most of it is just configuration settings; we need to pull them from windows, turn them into linux/gnome/kde options.
  • by Drooling Iguana ( 61479 ) on Thursday October 26, 2006 @06:13PM (#16601574)
    Another good reason to switch to Linux. Just give 'em a basic WM pre-configured to have all the applications they need to use within easy reach, and you can continue to update the kernel and underlying system, applying security fixes and everything else without ever changing the actual UI. In Linux everything is made up of discrete, interchangable components and you can update some without ever touching others, unlike Windows which is a single monolithic unit, and if you want the latest updates to the kernel, drivers and other underlying systems you have to stick a whole new UI in there in the process, whether you want it or not.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors