New NT service pack, new bugs, say users

Here we go again. That's what some users were saying a scant 10 days after Microsoft released its latest bug fix for Windows NT 4.0. Dozens of users on the various Microsoft forums on the Internet and CompuServe have reported a variety of problems after installing Service Pack 3 (SP3). The glitches ranged from an inability to run Java applets or use Microsoft's Internet Explorer to system lockups resulting from an assortment of printer and driver problems. The good news? It's not quite as bad as SP2, say users.

Here we go again.

That's what some users were saying a scant 10 days after Microsoft released its latest bug fix for Windows NT 4.0.

Dozens of users on the various Microsoft forums on the Internet and CompuServe reported a variety of problems after installing Service Pack 3 (SP3).

The glitches ranged from an inability to run Java applets or use Microsoft's Internet Explorer to system lockups resulting from an assortment of printer and driver problems.

Stu Sjouwerman, executive vice president of Sun Belt Software Inc., a distributor of third-party Windows NT management software in Clearwater, Florida, said the problems with SP3 were nowhere near as severe as those encountered with Service Pack 2 (SP2).

But the glitches were still disruptive and vexing, he says.

Sjouwerman, who also edits the "Windows NT Tools" newsletter, says despite the latest glitches in SP3, the quality of the patch was "much higher than SP2."

Chris DeVoney, a Windows NT reviewer in Seattle, says he experienced a string of memory errors and systems lockups when he installed SP3.

Enzo Schiano, Microsoft's group product manager for Windows NT, says the company analyzed DeVoney's problem and found the glitches weren't inherent to SP3.

"We've done extensive testing, and DeVoney's problems have nothing to do with Service Pack 3. If and when we get reports of other problems, we will thoroughly investigate them and issue any necessary fixes as quickly as possible," Schiano sysd.

SP3 does give users Internet, security and remote access enhancements for the Windows NT Server and Workstation 4.0 platforms.

It includes password filtering, a new version of the remote procedure call that supports message queuing in the upcoming Microsoft Message Queue Server; support for the Microsoft Cryptography API 2.0 to provide public-key and symmetric-key security operations; and support for DirectX 3.0 for enhanced audio and video facilities.

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