I have seen some posts (and some forums) discussing about using xp_servicecontrol. There was also a ticket opened where xp_servicecontrol reports a wrong status of some of the SQL Server services. I wanted to make sure that everyone knows that xp_servicecontrol is an undocumented XP. This XP has been a part of SQL Server since 7.0 till 2008.
This also means that we do not support external customers using xp_servicecontrol for any work. The code of this XP can be changed anytime and customer should not be using this XP for anything.
The correct alternative in this case would be to either use xp_cmdshell 'SC query <servicename>' or use the WMI namespace. Using WMI provider will be the best way looking into future.