Another thought on the problems with SP2 on college campuses: does Microsoft have mirrors for Windows Update? Granted, I’m sure they have a sophisticated setup for handling load, etc. for customers trying to download patches as well as for pushing out patches over Automatic Update (although it’s not clear how they are choosing who gets SP2 over AU when), but taking a page from P2P, they should consider distributing patching resources throughout their network either by location and/or market type. If Microsoft could loosen their grip on patch distribution just a little (their reluctance evidenced by shutting down sp2torrent.com and their restrictive rules on what universities can do with their free SP2 CDs), they could set up some great mirrors to help lessen the load and get patches out faster and easier.
For example, if you set up some Windows Update servers on some big Internet 2 hubs, you could cover a huge part of the higher education market– millions of college students patched and thousands of IT workers who are a little less disgruntled at Microsoft (because trust me, most of us have some beef with the folks at Redmond). Certainly, it’s within MegaCorp’s capabilities to create a server image that’s locked down and can be pushed out to “Windows Update Affiliates” around the country.