Microsoft Distributes XP Security Update

Friday, October 22nd 2004, 10:47 am
By: News On 6

SEATTLE (AP) _ Microsoft Corp. says it has distributed about 106 million copies of its major security update for the Windows XP operating system.

Microsoft completed work on the update, called Service Pack 2, more than two months ago. It has since been gradually distributing the big fix through automatic and manual downloads and via CDs.

About 80 million of those copies have gone to consumers or small businesses who opted to let Microsoft automatically deliver updates and security fixes as they became available.

The company initially said it hoped to deliver 100 million automatic downloads by the end of October. Barry Goffe, a Microsoft group product manager, said it's hard to say if the company will meet that goal, but it will at least come very close.

Microsoft has intentionally metered the downloads out slowly, to avoid clogging networks and to monitor for any unexpected problems.

Some larger businesses have already started testing and deploying Service Pack 2 but Goffe said it will be months before many big businesses allow their employees to install it. That's because businesses must first make sure it doesn't interfere with essential business applications.

Customer support calls are also waning considerably. Early on, Goffe said some people had to wait more than an hour to speak with the company about installing the system. Now, those wait times can be only a couple minutes.