A study has seemingly revealed that less than a quarter of businesses have made the upgrade to Windows XP Service Pack 2. This comes at a time where the April 12th deadline is approaching, where Automatic Update will attempt to force Windows XP users to install Service Pack 2.

AssetMetrix surveyed more than 136,000 PCs across 251 North American corporations and found only 24 per cent of Windows XP PCs had been upgraded to SP2. When Microsoft launched its heavily-touted security upgrade in August 2004 it offered firms the opportunity to "hold off" the automatic installation of SP2 while still receiving security patches for eight months. That suspension expires on 12 April, when Microsoft's Automatic Update service will deliver SP2 to firms.

"To date, we have observed that 40% of companies using Windows XP have actively avoided upgrading to SP2, and only 7% have actively accepted it." - AssetMetrix Research Labs.

The view from AssetMetrix Research Labs is that Microsoft has now afforded a considerable amount of time for companies to test XP SP2, and that this time should more than accommodate any research that a company would have to do before installing SP2.