Wither the Microsoft service pack

Wither the Microsoft service pack

Summary: Are Microsoft service packs about to go extinct? It's possible according to Mary Jo Foley, who reports that the servicing model for Exchange Server 2007 will be delivered in 6 to 8-week increments.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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Are Microsoft service packs about to go extinct? It's possible according to Mary Jo Foley, who reports that the servicing model for Exchange Server 2007 will be delivered in 6 to 8-week increments. 

Now this development could be a big deal. It'll potentially smooth over dealings with Microsoft product support and eliminate confusion over service packs and how they affect the rest of your infrastructure. 

But it may not all be roses. Without service packs how will techies know when it's time to seriously ponder an upgrade?

Topic: Microsoft

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5 comments
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  • Exactly!

    And timely problem correction... what'll they think of next?
    Anton Philidor
  • Though they will wither...

    ... if the speculation is correct, you may have meant whither.
    Anton Philidor
  • How will developer's be able to qualify Release Notes?

    Most shops doen't turn on auto updates, especially on servers, but apply patches when needed by a new software installation. If a company comes out with an updated version of an application for Server 2007, how will they say what version it is certified for? Now, it is easy to say "certified on Windows 2000 SP4, Windows 2003 SP1". Will you have to say "Certified on Server 2007 with updates applied through Nov, 2007"?
    m.w.pinter@...
    • RollUps

      A quote from Microsoft in Mary Jo Foley's Comment:

      "Our packages will be cumulative, in that they will contain every sustained engineering fix done to the product since the original release to manufacturing," Phillips explained. "They are also cumulative with respect to each other, so if a particular customer decides to skip applying one rollup for any reason (call it RU1) they can apply RU2 when it is released several months later and it will contain every fix present in both RU1 and RU2. They will be completely up to date."

      I think the process will be clarified. Still think fixes should be separate from features, for instance.
      Anton Philidor
  • If done right, good idea

    I would tout this as a great idea subject to a large improvement in the quality of fixes. A massive SP being deployed has the bennefit that while it may take a whole lot of resources, it can be planned and IT knows where the problem was (i.e. the upgrade). There is a wealth of support information on dealing with problems. It only happens once a year or maybe every 18 months.

    Continually rolling out of fixes, if past history is an indicator, will cause many small (and a few large) problems multiple times per year. Simply put, many patches require patches to fix what the original broke. Especially where a patch 3 months ago was the triggering event for this month's patch to fail. There is a reason why IT hates patches (even the necessary ones) and always wants to do the minimum required, and that is a history of lost weekends and dusk till dawn marathon sessions getting a patched system reworking again.

    If MS does it right and gets the patches right (say a 99.5% succcess rate on NOT breaking anything else) as opposed to the approximatly 80% today (anyone have solid stats. I guestimate 1 in 5 patches needs a patch today), it would be a great idea.

    TripleII
    TripleII-21189418044173169409978279405827