If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy
James Madison (American 4th US President (1809-17), and one of the founding fathers of his country. 1751-1836)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Service Pack wonders...when? and if ever?

It is amazing how the release of information can be related at times. In this case we first read about how Microsoft will not release a single large Service Pack for Vista, instead opting for smaller releases via the Windows Update Service. This whole issue was covered in a previous post here, Waiting to upgrade to Vista until the first Service Pack? Don't your breath!. Well now Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite and News Editor for Windows IT Pro has made a claim in his Wininfo Short Update: Week of April 9 that states the following:
And What About Windows XP Service Pack 3?
...let's dredge up Windows XP Service Pack 3, which was delayed from 2005 to 2006 to 2007 and now to 2008. If you were looking for any glimpse into the mind of Microsoft, this is it: The company has completely abandoned Windows XP, and it has absolutely no plans to ever ship an XP SP3. My guess is that Microsoft will do what it did with the final Windows 2000 Service Pack: Claim years later that it's no longer needed and just ship a final security patch roll-up. This is the worst kiss-off to any Microsoft product I've ever seen, and you'd think the company would show a little more respect to its best-selling OS of all time.

There is I suggest you go read it...and while we are on the subject and having mentioned is Paul's take on Vista SP1:
The Truth About Vista SP1
I'm tired of Microsoft's insane posturing about Windows Vista SP1. I've written about this before, but it bears repeating. Every single time Vista SP1 comes up, some representative from Microsoft--all the way up to CEO Steve Ballmer, by the way, who has done this twice in public--acts as if the company has no idea when it will ship SP1 or what features it will include. That is not true. Microsoft will ship Windows Vista SP1 concurrently with Longhorn Server in Q3 2007 and SP1 will include a major kernel update for Vista that will bring the client OS up to speed with the version of the Windows kernel in Longhorn Server.

Again there is a lot more to this as go read up on his posts. Now both of his takes on each service pack kind of surprised me as I always assumed that Mr. Thurrott was a fanboy of Microsoft...the type that could see no wrong in anything that Microsoft does, but alas this is not the case and I thank him for saying what he has. Sometimes it takes someone with some standing in such cases as this to say something and get the majority of readers worked up to demand more from a company such as Microsoft.

As far as I am concerned, as a new fanboy of Paul Thurrott, is that he hit the nail on the head in regards to Microsoft's support strategy, the heal dragging on SP releases, and outright lying about the status of things they clearly know everything about, but deny any knowledge of these items. Why no say...yes we are releasing an actual SP1 for Vista that will have X,Y, and Z in it...and to expect this at some future date! Hell...with all those people that are waiting for this almighty service pack to Vista...why wouldn't they want to do it? I always assumed sells figures were what MS was all about? and with SP1 equaling money it is baffling this stale mate they want to promote. I might be the naive one now that I think of it...maybe they are trying to build a buzz around it...with the hopes of praise to follow just as soon as it is released. I feel kind of used all of a sudden...but we will see how this turns out on the Vista front.

Onto the XP comment by Paul...and one that I could not agree with more. Why...OH WHY...would you keep postponing the release of a much awaited service pack as the one for XP? Being the most popular, the most used around the world, and that which has so many more options in regards to working software and drivers than that of Vista...there is no sense in the heel dragging, postpones, and possible killing off of...this OS. I surely don't hope that Microsoft is wagering on muscling people into Vista...granted you would have a mass migration, but I am sure those in the migration will opt for pirated versions vs forking out the dough for a legit copy. I can also state assuredly that the backlash might be more than Microsoft would expect. Then again...this might also be another ploy of Microsoft to build up a buzz...I do hope this is the I intend to keep XP on a few machines for a while to come.

I took the benefit to post the Service Pack Road Map from Microsoft's site and the Microsoft Support Lifecycle for the various OS'.
Service Pack Road Map

Operating SystemPreceding Service PackCurrent Service Pack and Date of AvailabilityNext Update and Estimated Date of Availability
Windows NT Workstation & Windows NT Server 4.xx SP5SP6a and SP6a SRP1 November 30, 1999Windows NT 4.XX is now out of support and Microsoft is no longer producing public monthly security updates or service packs.2
Windows 2000 Professional & Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server and Datacenter Server 3SP3SP4 June 26th 2003 Update Rollup #1 for SP4June 28, 2005No further updates planned. Customers must be running SP4 to continue to receive monthly security updates. Microsoft recommends updating SP4 machines to Update Rollup #1 (KB891861).
Windows XP Home EditionSP1SP2 August 6, 2004SP3 for Windows XP Home Edition is currently planned for 1H CY2008. This date is preliminary.
Windows XP ProfessionalSP1SP2 August 6, 2004SP3 for Windows XP Professional is currently planned for 1H CY2008. This date is preliminary.
Windows Server 2003SP1SP2 March 13, 2007To Be Determined

Microsoft Support Lifecycle

Products ReleasedGeneral Availability DateMainstream Support RetiredExtended Support Retired
Windows Embedded for Point of Service24/05/200513/07/201014/07/2015
Windows XP Embedded30/01/2002Review Note(1)Review Note(1)
Windows XP Home Edition31/12/200114/04/200908/04/2014
Windows XP Media Center Edition 200228/10/200214/04/200908/04/2014
Windows XP Media Center Edition 200427/10/200314/04/200908/04/2014
Windows XP Media Center Edition 200530/12/200414/04/200908/04/2014
Windows XP Professional31/12/200114/04/200908/04/2014
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition25/04/200514/04/200908/04/2014
Windows XP Service Pack 111/07/2002Not Applicable(3)Not Applicable(3)
Windows XP Service Pack 217/09/2004Review Note(2)Review Note(2)
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition11/02/200314/04/200908/04/2014
Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 200525/08/200414/04/200908/04/2014

**(1):Mainstream support will end two years after the next version of this product is released. Extended support will end five years after mainstream support ends.
**(2):Support ends either 12 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product's support lifecycle, whichever comes first. Visit the Lifecycle page to find the support timelines for your particular product.
**(3)Service Pack 1 for Windows XP was retired 10/10/2006

- "Lifecycle Supported Service Packs" @ Microsoft
- "Microsoft Support Lifecycle" @ Microsoft
- "Windows Service Pack Road Map" @ Microsoft
- "Paul Thurrott: Windows XP Service Pack 3 Not Coming" @ Neowin (comments)
- "WinInfo Short Takes: Week of April 9" @ WindowsITPro (article and comments)
- "No Windows XP Service Pack 3!" @ Keznews Forum
- "With slip, concerns that XP SP 3 will be cut" @ Network World* Great article inline with what Paul Thurrott said by Robert McMilan and was amazingly written October 26, 2006...great read!
- "Windows XP SP3 To Be Canceled" @ Softpedia (another SP3 article from last year)
- "XP SP3 canceled? Who cares!" @ IStartedSomething This dude has never had to patch several hundred machines; and doesn't understand that most corporations wait for Service Packs for the most part...aside from the major security patches.

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