Xerox just says no to XP

— 1:49 AM on April 12, 2001

The Register (here and here) have been simply marvelous in reporting the murky issue of Xerox ordering that copies of Windows XP be removed from their network immediately.

Initial reports seemed to lay the blame for the network issues suffered by Xerox directly on Microsoft's shoulders. Some news outlets went deeper and made mention of the fact that it was not XP alone, but a combination of XP and a third party device, which apparently didn't agree with one another.

With the level of secrecy being applied to the story, one would think that revealing an incompatibility with a beta OS is somehow a breach of national security. Luckily, The Register wasn't content to just let the initial documents and statements end the issue. With a bit of feedback, discussion, and perhaps even digging, they've placed the blame on a "old" Cisco bug in in the Catalyst 5000/5500 switch-the bug causes a layer two packet storm.

What really gets me about the story is why a Beta OS was not on its own isolated network? I can understand the need for Xerox IT staff to get a leg up on the forthcoming OS, but not their reckless disregard for the equipment they have to manage. Then again, perhaps that's hindsight speaking. After all, who would suspect that XP would cause a switch to go nuts?

[...] Xerox experienced its network failure because of a rather obvious problem involving the next version of the world's most widely used operating system and the planet's most deployed Lan switch.
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