Microsoft Blues

By: Tony Dean

With the advent of 'Service Pack 2' for Windows XP operating system, Microsoft have really made the forums hum.

Every forum on computer problems is replete with complaints that since downloading and installing 'SP2', many 'third party' applications don't work.

This service pack was needed to keep viruses and trojans out of people's computers when they are on the internet, but it has caused a world wide backlash against the software giant because people's favored applications won't work, or the computer crashes when they try to open them. Many people have said they will buy a Mac or try Linux instead.

What causes all this fury against Microsoft who are only trying to make surfing the internet safer?

Maybe there was an almighty rush to release this service pack before it had been thoroughly beta tested on all applications to see what the issues would be.

The complexity of this service pack is such that you really need to have a degree in I.T. just to set it's parameters, instead of relying on it's default settings, before you can successfully use it. It really needed a dvd movie to accompany it to visually show what you had to set before starting up any 'third party' applications, but this was not thought necessary because Microsoft were offering free technical support via a free phone number.

Some applications require that you open ports manually, but who would know that without clear instructions?

Some of the applications that need ports to be opened for them include the following:- "Visual Studio.Net", "SQL", "Backup Exec 9", "Ghost Server Corporate Edition 7.5", "Symantec Anti-Virus Corporate Edition 8.0", "SMS 2003 Server", "CuteFTP 5.0 xp", "Exceed 7.0 and 8.0", "Kea! 340 5.1", "View Now 1.05", "Microsoft Operations Manager 2000", "AutoCad 2004", "Backup Exec 9.1 4691", "Windows Scanner and Camera Wizard", "Cold Fusion MX Server Edition 6", "eTrust 6.0.100", "Netshield 4.5", "IBM Tivoli Storage Manager" ...and the list goes on.

Many games won't work. Games that need "DX9.0c" to run, are not supported by the 'SP2', so games don't run.

Virus scanning software by McAfee, Sourcenet, Sonic Wall, Command Anti-Virus, either give error messages, or crash the computer.

Most scanners including Umax scanners may not work and give error messages, or continually re-boot the computer.

Some of the features of Ebay Toolbar will cease to function. Users of Ebay's Enhanced Picture Service are locked out.

Applications which may not work are programs that have to contact a server to work at all, some ftp, multimedia streaming software, 'new mail' notifications in some email applications. Some programs reported not working are webservers such as "Internet Information Services" (IIS), "Remote Desktop", "File Sharing".

Many large companies are so concerned about the applications incompatability issues that IBM have notified all staff not to install 'SP2'.

Complaints to 'third party' software suppliers are soaring as if it is their fault applications don't work.

Even e-books downloaded from the internet are refusing to fully open.

The only way to get these applications to work is to uninstall 'SP2' by going to 'Start' then 'Control Panel' then 'Add Remove Programs'.

Microsoft, as if to shove the blame on users, have warned that installing 'SP2' on a 'spyware' infested machine is a 'bad idea'.

Summing up the pro's and con's of installing 'SP2', one forum poster stated it simply:-

"Windows XP is incompatable with SP2".

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