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MS Releases XP SP2 App Testing Guide

Enterprise developers looking for a guide to test applications against the new Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) are getting some help from Microsoft .

The software giant released a guide detailing the security technologies in the service pack and providing an application testing process to help developers sort through possible disruptions.

The availability of the application testing guide follows the recent release of a list of third-party applications that will have problems with the default Windows firewall.

The list includes Microsoft's own Visual Studio .NET and SQL products, as well as anti-virus software from Symantec , the ColdFusion MX Server from Macromedia and security products from Computer Associates and McAfee .

The XP SP2 disruptions will also affect certain multi-player games that rely on instant messaging connectivity, Microsoft said.

To help sort through the update, the latest guidance from Microsoft discusses an application testing process, incompatibility symptoms, mitigation techniques, and deployment scenarios. "It makes no assumption about the size or complexity of the network, and is as relevant to peer-to-peer environments as it is to Active Directory environments," Microsoft said.

Separately, Microsoft released a script on its TechNet portal in order to offer a way for enterprise customers to remotely block or unblock the automated the delivery of SP2.

"The ability to block delivery of Windows XP SP2 will be available for a limited time only," the company said.

Microsoft has already altered its internal delivery schedule for the service pack because some businesses needed more time to prepare for the Automatic Update feature.

The original schedule called for SP2 to be distributed via Automatic Update as a critical download on August 10, but this was pushed back to August 25 for machines running Windows XP Professional Edition.