Microsoft has altered its internal delivery schedule for the Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), because some high-end enterprise customers needed more time to prepare for the Automatic Update feature.

Microsoft originally planned to deliver the security-centric SP2 via Automatic Update as a critical download on August 10, but this has been pushed back to August 25 for machines running Windows XP Professional Edition.

The service pack delivery via Automatic Update is on schedule for machines running pre-release versions of Windows XP SP2. On Wednesday, August 18, the company plans to release SP2 for users running Windows XP Home Edition only.

A Microsoft spokesman confirmed the adjustment dates affected users of Windows XP Professional only because enterprises needed additional time to configure desktops running Automatic Updates.

"We actually haven't made many distribution changes, but those we have made have been in response to customer feedback," the spokesman told internetnews.com. "For example, some enterprise customers were interested in temporarily disabling Automatic Updates in order to be fully prepared to install SP2, and we provided a tool that would allow them to do so.

"We designed AU [Automatic Update] with consumers and small businesses in mind and we were quite pleasantly surprised by the number of enterprise customers that have found it a valuable means of keeping computers up to date."

He said the software giant was on track for more than 100 million SP2 installations through Automatic Update alone by the end of October. The company has already distributed 1 million copies of the service pack through its Download Center and MSDN portals.