Windows XP SP2 – Wait and See?

    October 13, 2004

Developers in North America are taking a “wait and see” attitude about installing Microsoft’s Windows XP Service Pack 2, according to Evans Data’s Fall 2004 North American Development Survey.

While 14% installed SP2 in the first week, more than 40% of developers have delayed installation until more information can be gathered and 6% won’t install SP2 at all.

Smaller companies are the most likely to have installed SP2 within the first week, mid-sized companies are most likely to install SP2 by the end of the year and larger companies haven’t yet committed to installing SP2.

“In a larger enterprise, there are often many custom applications running on numerous machines making integration more risky and un-installing SP2, should it become necessary, a far more difficult and expensive task,” said Dauren Tatubaev, a research analyst with Evans Data. “When in doubt a wait and see attitude is the most prudent course of action.”

Other findings from the September survey of more than 650 developers working in North America:

— Windows XP adoption on the desktop overtook Windows 2000 in late 2003 and is now deployed on 53% of developer’s desktops while Windows 2000 can be found on 26% of desktops today. The disparity for targeted OS’s is much closer with XP surpassing 2000 only six months ago and XP is now targeted by 36% of developers in North America where 2000 is targeted by 29%.

— The most applicable aspects of software development to be outsourced are: QA and Testing with 29% of the responses; outsourcing actual development was the next most selected response with 25% and, in a distant third, deployment with 13%.

— Linux is still perceived as the most innately secure operating system with 21% of responses but is down just under 5% from last year. Windows 2003 has seen a dramatic upturn in developer perceptions of security by rising almost 60% in the last year from under 12% to just under 19%.