Ten percent break-ratio with XP SP2?

One in 10 PCs will come to grief with XP SP2, according to a network auditor.

One in 10 PCs will come to grief with XP SP2, according to a network auditor.

The saga that is XP SP2 rumbles on with an announcement that, as Microsoft is finally getting a handle on the rollout of the service pack, new research reckons that one in 10 PCs will appear to fall over post-installation.

Network auditor AssetMetrix Research Labs conducted research with 340 companies with more than 44,000 desktops and found just over one in 10 of them had compatibility issues after they'd installed XP SP2.

Smaller, worse-hit
Bad news for small fry though. According to the research, the smaller the company, the more likely it is to encounter SP2 problems. Companies with less than 100 XP-equipped PCs had over 12 per cent affected, while bigger firms with over 100 computers only had six per cent.

Greg Lambert, technical director of application management firm Camwood, found that for large corporates, around one in 10 apps failed, with the most complex applications faring worst.

Lambert expects that XP SP2 will finally be rolled out by big business in three to six months, to give "risk-averse" companies, such as banks, which can't afford to have any slip up with business critical applications, time to thoroughly test the service pack before they install it.

Financial institutions running on XP are in a dilemma--as a sector, finance is among the keenest to secure its systems and roll out SP2. However, it's also one of the least tolerant of downtime.

One financial institution was offline for two and a half hours after incompatibility with patch took down its trading floor and suffered fines as a result, said Lambert.

"People's jobs are on the line," he said, adding that the rollout should prove useful for most companies as it will make the patching process less painful.

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