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77% of Organizations Could Face Security Risks due to Windows XP SP2 Support Retirement


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A research note issued by Softchoice highlights widespread security implications as Microsoft ends support for Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2).

Softchoice’s analysis of 278,498 corporate and public sector PCs reveals that almost half are still running Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2. Support for this service pack, including security updates, officially ends on July 13th 2010. It is estimated that nearly eight out of every 10 organizations have a high enough prevalence of SP2 in their environment to warrant immediate action to update their systems. Failing to do so could create unnecessary security risks as hackers continue to look for vulnerabilities knowing that software updates will no longer be forthcoming from Microsoft.

“We were surprised by the number of people who have not yet deployed Service Pack 3,” said Dean Williams, Services Development Manager for Softchoice. “Microsoft announced the expiration date in April of 2008, yet forty-five percent of the machines we looked at are still running SP2. If organizations aren’t already on top of this they should be moving quickly to update their systems.”

The data used in the analysis was collected between January and June of 2010. The timeliness of this snapshot lends a heightened sense of urgency given the limited timeframe with which organizations have to act before support for Service Pack 2 ends. While offered free of charge by Microsoft, the work involved in deploying Windows SP3 is not insignificant for larger organizations or those without systems management technology in place.

“While there were some documented issues when Service Pack 3 first launched, this was much more of an incremental upgrade compared to the major overhaul represented by Service Pack 2,” added Mr. Williams. “Many users rightfully delayed their SP2 deployments but at this point there really isn’t a compelling reason to delay the move to SP3.”

The sample consists of a total of 117 unique organizations representing a wide range of industries from across the United States and Canada, including financial, health care, manufacturing and education.

The data collection was made possible as a result of Softchoice’s award-winning IT assessment services. To provide comprehensive IT asset management services, including licensing gap analysis, hardware lifecycle and IT policy management, Softchoice receives detailed IT inventory data from customer environments. A portion of this data was analyzed in aggregate to produce the findings pertaining to prevalence of Windows XP Service Pack 2 among North American organizations.

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Honestly I believe XP (even SP2) is better OS, that Vista, the only real deal deal behind this "opp" is to comply with need to create more powerfull PC's for as in order to sell more OS'es by M$... to those, that do :whistle:

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