Updated The Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 code currently available seems to be official after all, despite some Microsoft claims that it's not yet official, and that it's only probably completely finished.
One of The Register's spies tells us that the code is already being publicised at the site for Microsoft Servicedesk One Premier customers. The text there says:
"Premier customers can now download the new Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 (SP2) from dedicated Premier servers. This is a private download of SP2 available to Premier customers only. This is the full release version of SP2, made available to Premier customers before other customers."
That seems to clinch it, presuming that it's the same code that's up on the Conxion site, and why on earth wouldn't it be?
The story as regards the Conxion code would appear to be that it, a spiffing 100+ megs, is up on the Conxion site already for the benefit of Microsoft partners. So in that sense it's official. It's also official in that Microsoft says it's the final code, but it's slightly unofficial in there's a tiny chance, again according to Microsoft, that it won't be the official final if anything really weird is discovered in it. They don't seem to have mentioned this teensie possibility to Premier customers.
But it becomes more official again in the sense that Conxion has asked the people pointing to the link (us, CNET, WinInfo, Activewin et al) if they'd kindly point to a URL on the MS site, which still feeds through to Conxion, but distributes the load geographically. So if you're using the link we published yesterday, it's in your interest to update it to the one below.
Other bits of the SP2 roadshow are starting to pop up on the Microsoft site too, although there's still no actual announcement, and no obvious front doorway in to them yet. A post in MP Tech Resource helpfully lists some of these, as does Activewin.com, so we won't waste your time with them here.
The MP Tech Resource posting also suggests that the version of the code currently available is the full whack, network install, and when it's officially official, there'll be smaller versions available. Which would make sense.
So do we all know approxiately where we stand then? Not entirely. One of those foul-mouthed individuals who're always right (thank goodness there aren't many of them on the web) has spammed all of the usual news suspects telling us we suck, and attaching what purports to be a Microsoft newsgroup posting by Gary Braughton of MS, regarding the SP2 beta. This 'proves' his point and says:
"Microsoft did place a build of SP2 on a private location so that testers could perform some preliminary stress testing of download functionality. Unfortunately, that site was leaked and everyone assumed we had released.
"When the Service Pack is ready, Microsoft will officially announce it on their web site and through the press."
So it's not ready, says Microsoft, while also saying it is ready.
We'd go with the 'ready barring showstoppers' verdict, ourselves. We've had some feedback in from people who've had good and bad experiences with the code so far, but not enough for any clear patterns to emerge. Check out the installation notes (MP Tech or Activewin.com for links) before you go for it. It's also worth pointing out that discussion on the Samba mailing list says SP2 breaks some Samba functions, so careful if you fall into that category.