The TAMs are currently discussing with the Security folks the classification of XP SP2 as a critical update. This may cause varying levels of concern for customers in that that some Enterprise and Education environments may be affected after the release of SP2 due to Automatic Updates being turned on, or Software Update Servers not being the redirect point for clients rather than Windows Update.
For that reason I wanted to give you a heads up regarding some documentation already out, and some documentation that will be released prior to SP2 being released.
Impact On Customers When Automatic Updates Are Enabled For Windows XP SP2
Information on Automatic Updates and how it can be configured can be found in Knowledge Base article 306525:
Because it is possible for Automatic Updates to be configured to download and install updates automatically, once Automatic Updates are enabled, administrators may witness an impact on their networks and systems as Windows XP SP2 is downloaded and installed automatically.
If this happens, customers may observe the following effects on their systems and networks:
· Slow network and/or system performance due to downloading and/or installing Windows XP SP2.
· Network connectivity and/or compatibility issues due to the automatic enabling of Windows Firewall by the Windows XP SP2 installation.
· Application compatibility issues due to changes in Windows XP SP2.
Resources To Assist Customers In Controlling Automatic Updates in their Environment
Customers who are concerned about the potential impact on networks and systems of Windows XP SP2 being installed automatically by Automatic Update can take steps to minimize or eliminate the effects of Automatic Update in their environment. Resources that are available to help with this include:
· Customers can follow the guidance in Knowledge Base article 328010 to configure Automatic Updates to disallow automatic updates on client systems. That article is available here:
Some ways this can be accomplished include:
o Registry changes through a logon script
o Registry changes of managed clients through a Systems Management Server (SMS) package
o Group Policy in Active Directory
The Windows Group will release a package of information to assist customers with controlling Automatic Updates in their environment on or around prior to the date it will be available on the Download or the Windows Update site. This package will be available on TechNet and contain the following tools and resources:
· A script to disable Automatic Update entirely
· A script to enable Automatic Update but specifically not download Windows XP SP2.
· An .ADM file to control Automatic Update through Group Policy
· A Link to a special Windows Update page that controls the settings for Automatic Update.
· A whitepaper with instructions on all the tools and options.