Microsoft revealed yesterday that it will extend the time IT administrators have to delay the installation of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), giving them more time to plan the migration. Now, corporations have 240 days before SP2 will be automatically installed. Originally, Microsoft had set the limit of its SP2 blocking mechanism at 120 days.

"Beginning on Tuesday, April 12, 2005, Automatic Updates and Windows Update will deliver SP2 regardless of the presence of the blocking mechanism," a Microsoft note reads. Coincidentally, April 12 is also the day that the software giant will release one of its scheduled monthly security updates.

Microsoft says it doubled the length of the SP2 blocking mechanism in response to customer feedback. The mechanism is a registry key change that you can enable by using either a script or small executable.