Microsoft will soon eliminate a tool that blocks updates to its Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems, according to a company blog, forcing users who have since resisted software updates to finally update.

The tools, which were released in December 2007, prevent service packs from reaching PCs via Windows Update, Microsoft's default update service, and are primarily used by corporations that have not yet tested or approved the upgrades. Microsoft's policy is to let users of companies to block service packs for up to 12 months after general availability.

In a note on a company blog, Brandon LeBlanc Microsoft's in-house Windows blogger said the Microsoft is urging enterprises that haven't already done so to install the service packs.

Microsoft strongly recommends all customers move to Windows Vista SP1 if they are running Windows Vista or Windows XP SP3 if they are running Windows XP, he said.

We are announcing the upcoming expiration dates for the Service Pack Blocker Tool for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3, LeBlanc wrote.

The Service Pack Blocker Tool for Windows Vista SP1 will expire on April 28 and the blocker for XP SP3 will expire on May 19.