A week ago, I warned people that they should hold off for a month before installing SP2 because of the inevitable bugs that’ll accompany the initial rollout. Well, the bugs have arrived.
No great surprise - Microsoft has listed nearly 50 applications that have trouble with SP2, ranging from games to anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, network management software, and a host of products from Microsoft itself, including g Visual Studio .Net, Operations Manager, SQL Server and Systems Management Server. For details, see this Knowledge Base article.
Some companies, like IBM, are banning the update for now. Many others are less than enthusiastic about it.
A main culprit is the Windows Firewall, which is turned on by default in SP2. (For some reason, though, it wasn’t turned on by default in my installation.) For security, the Windows Firewall is better than nothing, but much inferior to ZoneAlarm and other personal firewalls.
The worst thing about SP2, though, is not what it does, but what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t overhaul Internet Explorer, which is in much need of updating. True, there’s an excellent IE popup blocker in SP2, as well as a safer way to manage downloads. But can’t Microsoft do something as simple as let people use tabs for browsing? The fact that Microsoft can’t be bothered to add this simple feature shows that it takes its browser market domination for granted.
Still, despite SP2’s shortcomings, it’s still worth the download. There’s greater security, and the popup blocker is one of the niftiest ones I’ve seen. So wait a few more weeks, then install it.
But it looks like for the real improvements to come, we’ll have to wait for Longhorn - and that wait will make the wait for SP2 seem like the blink of an eye.
What do you think of SP2? Let me know.