Microsoft is planning to end a facility which allows users to block the automatic installation of Windows service packs.
The company revealed on Thursday that it will remove the option of blocking the Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP1 updates from the Automatic Update service.
Microsoft first created the blocking feature to allow administrators to keep the service packs from reaching end-users while the updates could be tested for possible compatibility and stability problems.
Windows Vista will be the first to have the update blocking taken down. The company will remove the feature for Vista SP1 updates on 28 April. Users will still be able to block the Vista SP2 release. For Windows XP SP3, the unblocking option will lifted on 19 May.
In other Windows news, Microsoft announced on Friday that the Windows 7 beta programme has come to an end, and that the next publically released version of the operating system will be a release candidate, usually considered the last step before a formal release of a product.
While the company has yet to name a specific date or month for release, Windows 7 is expected to reach the market some time in the first quarter of 2010.
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