Sometimes I just can’t believe people’s lack of perspective, and the best current example is the resistance to adopting Windows XP Service Pack 2.
For a very long, long time now, long before SP2 was released, it’s been known that as a direct result of solving security problems in Windows it would cause application problems. Microsoft released several test versions of the service pack—and large customers get access to more than just the milestone betas and release candidates—to help developers and users adopt to the new platform.
This has been going on for over a year now. (Here’s my first real SP2 column, just about a year old and already the compatibility issues were fairly well-understood.) And yet people are still resisting installing it, and generally for the same reason: They are worried that their programs won’t work.
A study by SupportSoft, a software vendor, shows that IT managers are still worried about the impact to their applications. Seventy-three percent of them say this is their biggest concern about SP2. Fifty percent of them expect problems that will disrupt their businesses as a result of the migration.
Sorry buddy, but if your program won’t work it’s probably because there was a problem in it. Most of the application problems I’ve seen are as a result of shady window management techniques in Web applications. There are lots of other reasons a program might fail, and for most of them the proper response is to change the behavior of the application. There were reports early on of large numbers of machines crashing after installing SP2, but it turned out that this typically happened to systems already infected with spyware or adware.
What will be the next great worm? Find out here.
And what has taken you so long? I know you have lots of interests and lots of stakeholders, but the more of them you put in front of smoothing the migration to SP2 the less you can claim that security is a real priority for you.
Next Page: An unacceptable alternative.