NT users now forced to implement SP4

NT users now forced to implement SP4

Windows NT 4.0 customers who have been wary of Service Pack 4 (SP4) had better get used to it, because their systems will not be completely year 2000 compliant without it.

Microsoft is now recommending that NT 4.0 users implement SP4 to achieve year 2000 compliance, a shift from the company's previous position that Service Pack 3 (SP3) would do the job, albeit leaving minor year 2000 issues.

However, implementing SP4 - which includes more than 650 new bug fixes, repair of 28 memory leak conditions, several new features, and all of the patches from Service Pack 1 to SP3 - could be a big project for many IT customers.

SP4's size and scope, along with the difficulties and incompatibilities associated with it, led analyst companies such as Gartner Group to recommend that shops spend months testing, evaluating, and deploying SP4.

Mark Light, Microsoft year 2000 product manager, said that SP3 - even with all of the hot fixes issued in the meantime - would not offer users the year 2000 compliance available via SP4.

The company has no plans to release the hot fixes necessary to bring SP3 into full compliance, Light said. But it does intend to maintain SP3 at "compliant with minor issues" status, a rung down from the "compliant" status of SP4. It will release a document about SP3 and its issues this month.

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