April 12th is the very last day. That’s when the clock runs, and the deadline looms.
And here you thought it was April 15th. Nope, it’s the twelfth. Because we’re not talking about the day your taxes are due. On no. We’re talking about the day that your Windows XP or Windows XP SP1 computer will be automatically updated to XP SP2 (Service Pack 2) whether you want it to or not. Period.
And here you thought that you owned your computer and the contents thereon, and could do whatever you wanted with it, and could choose what would, and what wouldn’t, be installed on it.
Up until now users who did not want to accept the SP2 update had the option of temporarily blocking the update from being downloaded to their machines through the Automatic or Windows Update mechanisms, however that option expires on April 12th.
According to Microsoft’s latest alert on the issue, “The intent of this alert is to provide you with a reminder about the upcoming deadline around the date on which Automatic Update (AU) and Windows Update (WU) will deliver Windows XP SP2 regardless of the presence of the blocking mechanism.”
Now, Aunty isn’t saying that you shouldn’t update to SP2 – indeed, you should, as it fixes many serious security holes. But there is something about removing the element of choice in how a consumer uses a personal product for which they paid which just doesn’t sit well.
An Update to this Article:
At least one person has commented here, and a few others personally to Aunty or in other fora, that Aunty has her facts wrong, that Microsoft is not requiring you to update to SP2, and citing as support for that the fact that Microsoft has stated that they will support SP1 through 2006.
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To that Aunty says:
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..which says, in relevant part:
“UPDATE: Time is running out! Please note that the mechanism to temporarily disable delivery of Windows XP SP2 is only available for a period of 240 days (8 months) from August 16, 2004. At the end of this period (after April 12, 2005), Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.”
Now, granted English is Aunty’s first language, but still, to Aunty â€œwill be deliveredâ€? means, well, will be delivered.
To those who took Aunty to task saying that this applies only to the Professional edition of XP, Aunty quotes from the same Microsoft document, wherein it offers the following timeline:
“Summary of Relevant Windows XP SP2 Dates
8/06/2004 – Release to manufacturing
8/09/2004 – Release to Microsoft Download Center (full network install package)
8/10/2004 – Release to Automatic Updates (for machines running pre-release versions of Windows XP SP2 only)
8/16/2004 – Release (English) via Software Update Services (SUS)
8/18/2004 – Release (English) via AU to customers running Windows XP Home Edition and not already running a pre-release version of Windows XP SP2
Later in August/2004 – Delivery of Windows XP SP2 (English) via Windows Update and delivery via AU to customers running Windows XP Professional Edition and not already running a pre-release version of Windows XP SP2
4/12/2005 – Windows XP SP2 will be delivered to all Windows XP and Windows XP Service Pack 1 systems.”
Please note the last three datesâ€¦it doesn’t say “Professional Edition only”..it says “first systems running Home Edition, then systems running Professional Editionâ€¦.then all systems.”
It is, however, true that the update cannot be forced on you if you are not running Automatic Update or Windows Update.
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