Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Security IT

XP SP2 Adoption Lagging Overseas 234

Vizquel wrote to mention an eWeek article reporting that Microsoft is frustrated with the lack of Service Pack 2 usage overseas. From the article: "During a keynote at the Security Summit East here, McKee said Microsoft has so far distributed more than 250 million copies of XP SP2 to provide a hardened shell around the operating system but the low upgrade levels remains a disappointment."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

XP SP2 Adoption Lagging Overseas

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:15PM (#14276172)
    When asked for comment Steve Ballmer replied:

    "I'm gonna fucking kill Overseas, i've done it before and i'll do it again"

    He then hurtled a chair in the direction of Japan.
    • I Hope Someone Makes A Game For That Too....
    • In response to the perceived aggression from a U.S. company the nations of Japan, India, China, South Korea, Malaysia and New Jersey called their ambassadors home from their respective embassies in Washington, D.C. New Jersey Governor Richard Codey, having been alerted by his aides to the fact that New Jersey is part of the United States, further chose to close his Washington embassy, calling the move "yet another cost-cutting victory for the taxpayers of the Garden State."

      At 9:15 PM East Coast U.S. Time

    • The Japanese quickly respond with a Digital Kamikaze in which they all reinstall DOS and trust the Gods to sort everything out.
  • Possible reason (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GeekyMike ( 575177 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:21PM (#14276233)
    I am wondering if he is referring to the upgrades of licensed copies. If not countries such as China and others with almost institutionalized software piracy might cause this lack of upgrades. If it is for licensed versions, I could assume a lack of bandwidth being somewhat limiting. I personally have had no issues with XP SP2 either time I installed it, but the second time was much more pleasant because I had my cable internet connection.
    • And the problem is:

      - Persons who download the SP2 vs. persons who install the SP2


      Persons who installed the SP2, then finanally decided to abandon WinXP for productive use and switch over to to KDE.

      I have XP SP2 on one partition I hardly use. I don't need a "secure" environment. I need a productive environment. And surprise, surprise, I never experienced any security problems with Linux, my system does not freeze and it just works.

      And Linux gets better every day.
      • If you or someone else is running Linux instead of XP now, then the XP partition isn't running, and XP is not getting pwn3d and causing issues that installing the SP would have fixed. Which is what the rant was about, and why your scenario misses the boat completely.

        But hey, any opportunity for a Linux fanboy speech...

        • To be honest, I do not care much about which operating system is run on my computer. I just has to work and I take what is best. I have no time for a WinXP or Linux cult. Currently I chose KDE on Linux and on rare occasions I switch to Windows.
    • I had an issue: I upgraded the cpu & motherboard on my home built PC from a P4 to an Athlon64. The XP-SP2 service pack would install, then lock on the first boot with a STOP: 0x00000007E error. I'd have to ghost the partition back each time, and in the end I gave up on SP2 altogether.

      I found the fix, finally, but it still seems to be a bit of a secret [] (Second entry from the bottom)

      So, maybe others are having the same issue. It can't be that uncommon.
  • In related news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann ( 805235 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `todhsals.nnamredyps'> on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:23PM (#14276244) Homepage Journal
    Overseas are frustrated with SP2 obsession with registering.
    • Yeah, Microsoft's fight against malware is clearly being prosecuted on the highest level ;)

        The use of the "Genuine Windows Validation Tool" is a *clear* indication of their concern over the vulnerabilities in their operating system. I mean, if it gets zombied, it's *clearly* not a "genuine windows install", is it?

  • by robbyjo ( 315601 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:24PM (#14276258) Homepage
    Well, SP2 adoption is slow because piracy abounds in foreign land, especially in Asia. Windows updater checks the authenticity of the installed windows and refused to install SP2 (and other updates) if the check fails. For some reasons, critical updates can be downloaded from time to time, but not always. Coupled with lack of broadband internet and clueless users, I'm not surprised at all to hear this news.
    • Is that true?

      Microsoft is essentially guaranteeing a vast network of comprimised machines by denying security updates to pirated copies.

    • Once you install SP2, security updates are available to everyone through Automatic Updates (configure through the My Computer properties pane). However, the Windows Update website, which lets you install individual security patches, updated hardware drivers, and other software is only available if your computer passes the Windows Genuine Advantage check.
    • Windows Update does not refuse security related updates for non-authentic copies of Windows.

      It is only optional updates, as well as other tools and support utilities.

      Right from Wikipedia []: "Security updates that address software vulnerabilities are available to all Windows users, with or without WGA validation".
      • Windows Update does not refuse security related updates for non-authentic copies of Windows.

        However, SP2 itself will not install on pirated copies of Windows.

        I tried putting SP2 on one of my neighbours' computers, and it refused because it knew the serial number was one used by pirates.

        If you can't install SP2, you can't have all of the up-to-date security. So the GP is correct.
  • Upgrading SP2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chroma ( 33185 ) <chroma.mindspring@com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:25PM (#14276263) Homepage
    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that it's a lot of trouble to upgrade to SP2?

    I recently had to re-install XP on a laptop that came with SP1. It took about 4 cycles of going to the Windows Update site, getting it to install the patches, and rebooting. It was over an hour before I was done. I have a hard time imagining regular users wanting to do this. MS needs to change their update process so that it can be done all at once.

    • Every SP2 installation I've ever done has been a straight A -> B experience. you install it, it works. If your system is damaged to begin with, or has faulty hardware, your problems may be stemming from something else.
    • Worse, it killed my DVD drive. I just ripped SP2 out again, the DVD drive comes back. Like a lot of others, I said forget it.
    • Selecting "update" and then "restart" 4 times is a lot of trouble?

      Especially because if they could have done 1 step each week over 4 weeks and still have been upgraded by now.

      I think the comments about the piracy checks preventing them are more on-track.
      • *ONE* restart is a lot of trouble.
    • While we are on the subject, would someone be so kind as to post the SP2 direct download link that works on non-explorer browers. I don't have a windows machine at home, but am preparing my windows clean-up disk in preparation for holiday travels, and my google skills are apparently lacking tonight.

    • Even with SP2 on a CDROM, it still takes 45 minutes.
    • A lot of trouble?!

      Just take your installation CD, slipstream service pack 2 [], add in the latest hotfixes [], and heck, while you're at it, make an answer file for an unattended install [].

      Sure, if you're intent on going to Windows Update, yeah, it's going to involve lots of rebooting. But you don't have to do it that way, you can just download all the hotfixes directly [] and install them one at a time, if you aren't looking to create an up-to-date installation CD. I, personally, like the installation CD (or DVD) rou
      • Man, that sounds like a lot of work. I just install ubuntu, run apt-get update; apt-get upgrade, reboot if the kernel was changed, and life is good. What's with Windows being so difficult and user-unfriendly?
        (Yes, I know it's a troll. Mod accordingly. I just need to get it out of my system every now and then)
      • A lot of trouble?!

        Just take your installation CD

        Which is where 90% will say its a lot of trouble and put it away. Slipstreaming is for nerds, this is a place of nerds, but the world isn't.
      • Oh yeah, your average user is really going to make a slipstreamed CD for XP SP2...this is about mainstream adoption of SP2 by everyone, not just tech users.

        (And if you think making a slipstreamed CD is not just in the realm of a technical user, then, well, I'd like you to meet my Dad, and most of the other half a billion people who use Windows...)

  • But inside, there's a new batch of tasty exploits every week.
  • by TheOtherAgentM ( 700696 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:26PM (#14276275)
    But they couldn't boot back into Windows afterwards, or they couldn't get back online. That's why they're not reporting SP2 users.
  • just SP2? (Score:3, Informative)

    by theheff ( 894014 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:29PM (#14276302)
    There are over 40 critical updates that have come out since SP2... SP2 only goes so far in protection. I've used "broadband" in other countries... updating to SP2 plus all critical updates would take AGES. They'd be better off just disabling services in services.msc and using what they have now behind a hardware firewall.
  • by cejones ( 574416 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:32PM (#14276319)
    I had a lovely working PC card that read all my digital camera memory cards... Worked like a charm with XP SP1. Installed SP2. Reader stopped working... Wouldn't recognize any memory card. Called SanDisk, the maker of the PC card.. They said they had reports of SP2 breaking the functionality of the card. It was a Microsoft problem. One of the tech guys at SanDisk told me that it is an unwritten rule to avoid all even numbers Microsoft Service Packs. Wish I knew that one before I installed it. The PC Card still doesn't work and so I hope it magically starts working with SP3... So I wouldn't doubt SP2 usage is low... That is what MS gets for breaking the way things work...
    • SP2's broken a few old Win16 apps of mine as well. Why upgrade to SP2 when SP1 is terrific?
    • it is an unwritten rule to avoid all even numbers Microsoft Service Packs.

      No, you should apply patches and security updates when there's a full moon out, and make sure you say seven hail mary's (maries??? marys???) :)
    • by jd ( 1658 )
      Those kinds of superstitions (avoid all products that have a version number that ends in .0) are based on the premise that certain releases are more likely to be rushed than others, so are more likely to have bugs. In reality, any release is as likely to be rushed as any other, any product that is rushed has a raised probability of having defects, and any defect - however small - can (in principle) be totally lethal to a computer program.

      If you look at Microsoft's scorecard for service packs, sure, you can

  • From the software pirates avoid "Microsoft Genuine Advantage" Windows piracy detection dept.
  • Probably lack of bandwidth or Microsoft Windows update isn't intuitive enough.

    People abroad don't have the same kind of connection of those in developed countries, and MS Windows XP SP2 is big.

    Same people don't have the same amount of information from the press, about viruses, worms and other security menances. Because only a small percentage of the population have computers. So the people aren't aware of those menances and don't care about them.

    DRM also sucks, just after I installed MS Windows XP I tried t
    • Probably lack of bandwidth or Microsoft Windows update isn't intuitive enough.

      People abroad don't have the same kind of connection of those in developped countries, and MS Windows XP SP2 is big.

      Do you mean that, except for yours, every country is undeveloped?

      Same people don't have the same amount of information from the press, about viruses, worms and other security menances. Because only a small percentage of the population have computers. So the people aren't aware of those menances and don't care about t

  • woohoo! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    more bots for me!
  • No kidding. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trillan ( 597339 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @08:16PM (#14276662) Homepage Journal
    I spent six months in a third world country. There are two major reasons why XP SP2 wasn't in use there:

    1. The license restrictions were tighter than plain XP,
    2. It required over a day to download.

    Heck, the guy who came over to install my DSL told me not to install it. Naturally, I didn't listen...
  • "provide a hardened shell around the operating system but the low upgrade levels remains a disappointment."

    Damn user error! You have to do work to get a safe system!
  • SP2 got bad rep (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jarnis ( 266190 ) on Friday December 16, 2005 @08:28PM (#14276732)
    There is a very very simple reason.

    I work at PC repairs. I see SP2less computers every day. MOST of them have legal copy of windows(!)

    The reason why SP2 uptake is slow, is that when it was released, some people with virus/spyware-ridden computers just went and installed it - and their installation promptly blew up, since Microsoft for some odd reason didn't test their upgrade with every piece of malware out there.

    So, the 'common wisdom' made rounds with lots and lots of clueless lusers; "Don't install SP2, it will just mess up your system and make you reinstall everything". Even *I* considered the upgrade hazardous during the first few weeks due to couple of blowups I'd seen.

    Only thru trial and error (on customer's computers :) ) I quickly figured out when SP2 blows up and when it doesnt. 99.99% of installations will go just fine as long as the computer is first cleaned of all the spyware and viruses, and you make sure that drivers are at least in the ballpark of being up to date. Skip those steps, and there is a very real risk that you get to reinstall everything (or, at least, get to do a repair install with a CD that has SP2 slipstreamed into it).

    Now if just one person tells 10 friends how his computer got all messed up due to SP2 (when it reality it was already mucked up by ten cubic miles of spyware), those ten will tell horror stories to 10 of their friends how they heard that SP2 is bad.

    Boom, SP2 adoption rate takes a huge broadside hit.

    I *still* need to reassure people who bring their computer in for repairs that installing SP2 is not only a good idea, but almost downright required if you plan on keeping your system connected to the internet. Standard operating procedure is to install all windows updates when fixing any problem, be it spyware, viruses or plain old hardware problem - yet I still sometimes get calls after the fact to the tune of 'how did you get SP2 installed? I thought it'd just mess up my computer so I was too afraid to try', while in fact there was zero reason why the user should've not installed it.

    Now pirate copies are another story; Yes, I see those very commonly as well.

    They fall into a couple of categories;

    - Clueful people who know what they are doing (99% of these are computers with real hardware faults). They have SP2 and all updates installed, and windows update is working fine, with WGA circumvented. They are aware that MS 'pirate blocks' are not stopping anyone who knows how to use Google and can read.

    In these cases there is no problem. Never was.

    - Clueless idiots who "got my copy from a friend". Some have The Old Version with no SPs, and then whine how it never works right and always get viruses. Most have SP1, but havent' installed SP2 because they've "heard that it can't be installed" - when in reality it would work just fine. Most of these turn around and buy a genuine copy in case their system needs a full reinstall due to malware infestation so bad it can't be completely cleaned up within sane number of expensive techie hours.

    For those I can't really go and install the SP2, as company policy says that any OS issues related to pirate copies are customers problem. Sure, I can clean up malware assuming it doesn't require a reinstall, and I can drop in any stuff the automatic update gives, but generally I don't even bother trying SP2.

    Now, Microsoft's 'anti piracy measures' have definitely caused them to sell more legal copies to the clueless idiots who 'trusted their friend to install a free copy', and then got burned by the Windows Update and/or SP2 install key blacklists. However, as long as their system worked, they really don't care if its updated or not. I've seen systems where the damn computer contained all the financial stuff of a small company, NO BACKUPS, with system full of viruses and other crap to the point when it no longer boots - and the owner didn't care it hadn't been updated. He was just pissed that the computer stopped working, and was
    • All the people I know who are still on SP1 (*lots* of people, including me) are still there because SP2, though it installs fine, breaks other stuff.

      If you run a fixed set of things, you're behind a firewall, and you don't use Outlook or IE, you may be better off without SP2.

      It's the people who shove updates down people's throats because they assume the user doesn't know any better who are clueless.

      And if I were Microsoft I'd be more annoyed that more than a quarter of their users still use 98 or 2000...(Th
      • Re:SP2 got bad rep (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jarnis ( 266190 )
        Hey, don't badmouth Win98.

        It's a great source of revenue for PC repair shops.

        - (re)installing it, with all the arcane driver magic and updates takes hours. Lots of $$$$
        - Most computers with Win98 (or worse, 95) are so old, that more recent operating systems are not an option
        - Most users of such old computers are fixated with the rule 'well the hardware still works, it's only 5 years old, I will REFUSE to buy a new computer' - never mind that they are paying half the price of a fully set up new system in rep
        • The dorks, they invest years in becoming confident and comfortable using a set of applications that work for them, and the bloddy cheapstakes can't be bothered to throw all that knowledge down the toilet for some new shinning, bloated, application that does basically the same. The idiots.

          No doubt they all should be beaten into their senses.
  • It's still not recommended or supported as an upgrade in house though it is now released and supported on initial build.
  • Most Windows users I have seen, especially overseas, tend to wipe and re-install from the latest and greatest pirate slipstream whenever their installation gets foobar'd.

    I recently helped someone with an install, one of these pirate CDs. She even had a regular license for XP, but decided to go with the pirate disk.


    Because it had SP2 slipstreamed in, a variety of other updates, product activation disabled, WinRar included, Acrobat reader included, Sun's Java included, Firefox, and Macromedia Flash included.

    I was impressed. It was almost as functional as a Linux install. No Office suite, or any of the other stuff that comes with Linux, but still, much, much better than a standard Windows install, far less updating to do, and only took about an hour.

    It's not as easy as a Linux install; but its way better than the normal install cycle.
  • I think ms is upset NOT solely over the licensing and piracy and malware issues surrounding the lack up uptake/upgrading.

    What about TurboLinux? What about Mandriva, RH, Novell Suse? Hell, with all the rigmarole and trepidation around arduous upgrading or being caught wihth illegit copies, there must (I think) be some more silent uptake up Linux (GNU/Linux, if you prefer).

    For ms, this can't be GOOD.

    Consider that in China alone, some 176,000 computers (See Linux Format, current or one of the previous 3 issues
  • Between the hardware requirements and lack of compelling features, I think Microsoft is gonna find an even slower adoption rate of Vista overseas when it finally launches.
  • Doesn't SP2 comes with a new EULA for Windows? Maybe there are people who read it, disagreed, and clicked the cancel button. Surely there are people who do not agree with Microsoft changing licensing terms after the fact.
  • Note from the trenches: My boss's home computer hasnt been the same since SP2. The first time it got installed, the desktop wouldnt come up. You could start tasks with the task manager pop-up, but that's a bit clumsy.

    A complete reinstall fixed that, but now file sharing is broken and we've spent days applying bizarre SP2 KB patches to no avail.

    So my suggestion to the world: don't. Just don't !

  • More than a year huh? AFAIK, SP2 was released in Feb 2005.
  • Piracy aside, I see three main reasons why Service Pack 2 is slow to be adopted.

    1. It's huge. About 260 megs, I think. Try that one on analog (33.6kbps or less) dialup sometime. Better yet, try it in Internet Explorer which has no support for resuming interrupted downloads. Even more, try it in Internet Explorer which has no support for resuming interrupted downloads on an analog modem running on a telephone line for which you need to pay for the telephone service by the minute and the internet access by th
  • ... Microsoft gets over their stupid anti-piracy tactics in regards to service packs. Ever since XP1 Ms has made it more time consuming and really not worth it for anyone who's pirated XP to upgrade to XP2. Ever since "genuine advantage" and the other bs that tries to check to see if your windows is "authentic".
  • by crovira ( 10242 ) on Saturday December 17, 2005 @02:31AM (#14278252) Homepage
    Microsoft has always had both problems.

    People only upgrade when the benefits outweigh the cost. They don't trust Microsoft. They've been lied to again and again and it hurts them.

    Security has always been a joke to Microsoft and people are tired of getting sucked in to an upgrade treadmill.

    Corporations HATE change. CMicrosoft keeps hange hits them in the pocketbook. My client was using NT 4.x until it got EOLed by Microsoft. They switched to Win2K, not XP, but Win2K, because the bugs had been kicked out of it.

    They don't want or need all the gimracks and geegaws. They want an OS to just do what its told, just like they want employees to just do as they're told.

    Microsoft can stand on its head and spit nickels and it won't salve the wounds of their users (IE is a disaster, VB is a shame, and the whole OS is ramshackle,) or make it cheaper to run.

    What? You think that corporations LIKE paying millions for a series of security risks? One after another?

    Its a wonder you get any upgraders at all.
  • You release a patch that removes product activation and I'll consider it.
  • I wonder how this ties back to the chinese hacking article that was up a day or 2 ago. Does the lack of uptake of SP2 in other countries, particularly ones like china who are known for their piracy, soften them to US cyber retaliation?

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.