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Microsoft offers kit for XP SP2 application testing

By now, it is pretty well known that Windows XP Service Pack 2 will break some applications. To lessen administrator angst, Microsoft has released a free guide to help with XP SP2 compatibility troubleshooting.

IT administrators preparing for the Windows XP SP2 juggernaut may want to catch up on their reading before deploying the service pack. And there's no shortage of Microsoft documents on the subject.

This week, Microsoft released a kit on its Download Center site that is designed to help admins troubleshoot problems with their applications that are caused by the new security features in SP2.

Microsoft said the guide covers security technologies, application testing, incompatibility symptoms, mitigation techniques and deployment scenarios, but isn't specific on network size and complexity. The kit is relevant for peer-to-peer and Active Directory environments, the software maker said.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is offering several other documents and downloads related to SP2 deployments on its TechNet and Download Center sites.

Among them are:

  • Changes to Functionality in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2. The document, published Aug. 9 on TechNet, applies to SP2 for the 32-bit versions of Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home Edition, and highlights the changes that will have the greatest impact on IT shops.
  • SP2 changes for developers. This is a companion to the SP2 functionality document, and it is available to developers on the Download Center site. It covers the implications the functionality changes will have from a developer perspective, and offers examples and details, Microsoft said.
  • Microsoft Windows XP Security Guide Overview. This TechNet document describes XP SP2 security features unique to deployments in three environments: XP running in a Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003 domain, XP in a high security environment and XP for stand-alone or unmanaged environments.
  • Temporarily Disabling Delivery of Windows XP Service Pack 2 Through Windows Update and Automatic Updates. This TechNet document, which was updated on Monday, offers resources for blocking automatic updates from the Windows Update and Automatic Update services. The document includes Visual Basic scripts for blocking delivery, but Microsoft said those scripts are "officially unsupported." Also, registry entries that allow Windows Update and Automatic Update to block the download of SP2 will expire after 120 days.

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