Corporation has released Service Pack 1 (SP1) for its Windows 2000 operating
system. The Service Pack is available for download from Microsoft's web
site, and is also on CD. SP1 contains fixes for problems in areas such
as setup, application compatibility, operating system reliability, and
Microsoft recommends Windows 2000 (Win2K) users deploying Service Pack
Windows 2000 (Win2K) has sold very well since its release on February
17th, but there has always been the concern in some quarters that the
initial release would be too buggy for "serious" users. The early reports
of 63,000 defects (See "Windows
2000: Paragon for Partisans, Skewered by Skeptics"), combined
with the "conventional wisdom" of waiting until Service Pack 1 or 2, may
have depressed sales slightly.
its 83 MB "patch", Microsoft is attempting to allay any remaining fears.
Whether they succeed is questionable. Among the more interesting ironies
is that SP1 is intended to fix some security issues, yet one researcher
has found that it disables two firewall software packages.
is speculation that Microsoft is releasing the patch to help maintain
its lead over Linux (which recently moved past Novell into the #2 server
OS position). However, we feel that the lack of Win2K-certified applications
is a bigger issue for Windows 2000 acceptance as an enterprise OS. After
almost six months, having only 37 server applications listed by Microsoft
as certified (13 of which are part of the J.D. Edwards "One World" suite)
is not a good sign.
brief inspection of Microsoft's documentation shows a total of more than
250 separate issues being addressed; we estimate around 30% of these relate
to problems/bugs of moderate-to-high importance, such as security, administration,
base OS, memory leaks, and directory services.
With the full Service Pack weighing in at 83 MB, this is not for download
by the home user with anything less than DSL or a cable modem. Even the
basic download (13.8MB) will take over an hour for a 28.8k modem.
managers who have extensive Windows 2000 installations should opt for
the full Service Pack, either by download (if they have a T1 line), or
by getting the CD (if they only have a modem - not likely, but possible).
In addition to the bug fixes described above, use of SP1 means users will
no longer have to reinstall or "reassert" the Service Pack after future
software application installs (according to Microsoft, we have not verified
this). This is a valuable function, and overcomes one of the persistent
annoyances from earlier Service Packs for Windows NT.
of the issues with "ZoneAlarm" and "BlackICE" (the firewall packages mentioned
earlier), we recommend that users with those firewalls delay implementation
of SP1, until Service Pack "1a" is released, or until Microsoft issues
a patch addressing these problems.
we do not expect Service Pack 1 to be the last for Win2K. As some may
remember, Windows NT 4.0 is up to Service Pack 6 - whoops! we meant 6a
- and we expect a similar scenario for 2000 (although maybe not as many).