I have downloaded and installed Service Pack 3 for Windows XP Professional on my Fujitsu Lifebook S6510. Everything went smoothly, and it seems to work just fine. I don't see anything particularly better after the installation, but more importantly I don't see anything worse either.
Overall I am very happy with the S6510 running XP since my latest retreat from Vista last week. As I have said so many times before, it works, it is stable, it is fast, and everything else that I own works with it.
What kind of strange world is this, when the company which controls the market can stop sales of an operating system that works, in order to force purchases of an operating system that has been proven, over and over again, to still have so many bugs and performance problems that it is clearly inferior to the one being withdrawn? I sincerely hope that OEMs such as Fujitsu, Dell, HP and the like, who will have to take the brunt of the customer support calls and dissatisfaction, continue to pressure Microsoft to allow them to continue selling XP. I mean, honestly, if Intel alone could pressure Microsoft into doing something that was clearly technically "wrong" (changing the minimum requirements for Visa), one would hope that a group of OEMs could convince them to do something that is obviously technically "right".
Of course, that's not the way this world, and this market, generally works. Unfortunately.
According to an article by Mary Jo Foley on the ZDNet.com site, Microsoft has suddenly decided not to release XP SP3 to Windows Update and the Download Center. For those who still want to download it via the direct link to the executable, as I did, please read the excellent article by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes on the same site, explaining the considerations of such a direct download, and the link to the executable patch file.
The problem seems to be a compatibility issue with a rather obscure Microsoft Business product. Moreover, they have not only held back XP SP3, they have also stopped Vista SP1 from Automatic Download (again) for the same reason. This seems very mysterious to me - I am sure that Microsoft isn't doing this out of the goodness of its heart, nor out of concern for their general customers. There must be more to it than meets the eye - perhaps it is a security issue, or they are afraid that it could provide the basis for another huge lawsuit or some such. It will be interesting to see what happens.