Of course, its easy for me to sit here and tell you to put in development work, but if the alternative is for you to continue to run Windows XP SP1, then youre going to have to think seriously about it. SP1 is not an acceptable alternative anymore. Weve already seen many security problems pop up in Windows XP SP1 (and Windows 2000 and other earlier versions of Windows) that do not exist in SP2. This is because Microsoft actually thought seriously about security in writing SP2 to the point that they were willing to break applications that used undesirable techniques, quite a departure for Microsoft, which has in the past been far too tolerant of customers doing stupid stuff.This isnt going to be the end of it either. There are going to be more of these SP1-only bugs, and IT managers will have to deal with the consequences of them. I think its an easy case to make that they should instead deal proactively with the application compatibility problems in SP2. For insights on security coverage around the Web, check out eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog. SP2 is the best real-life example of how testing is a critical function of IT these days. If youre concerned you will have application problems in SP2, test and find out. Ask for volunteers to be guinea pigs and run it, and have SP1 systems available for them as backups. Fix the problems you find. But get to it already. Youre late and SP1 isnt getting any better. Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest security news, reviews and analysis.
More from Larry Seltzer
This last week we got our best example yet of SP1s danger. A worm that infects you just by your viewing a Web page. SP2 hasnt been perfect certainly, but life with Windows has been a whole lot less scary for SP2 users since it came out.