It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

Summary: The moment that Windows XP users have been waiting for. Today Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) goes RTM.

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TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft
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The moment that Windows XP users have been waiting for. Today Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) goes RTM.

What's in SP3?

XP logoHere's what you can expect from XP SP3:

  • All previously released Windows XP updates, including security updates and hotfixes.
  • Also contained are some out-of-band releases.
  • A small number of new OS enhancements.

Can I find out the details of what's included in SP3?

Sure. [UPDATE: Link now working.]

What sort of new and enhanced functionality does SP3 contain?

Some features of note include:

  • Improvements to "black hole" router detection.
  • Network Access Protection, which is a network policy enforcement platform previously seen in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.
  • Enhanced Control Panel Security Options which better explains the impact of the various settings.
  • Product key-free installation now possible.

What's the purpose of SP3?

According to Microsoft, the goals of SP3 are:

  • Provide a new baseline for customers still deploying Windows XP, to help them avoid the inconvenience of applying individual updates.
  • Fill gaps in the updates users might have missed by declining individual updates when using Automatic Updates, and to deliver updates not made available through Windows Update.

How big is SP3?

Depends on how you get it. Through Windows Update the typical download will be in the region of 70MB. Through the Microsoft Download Center the download balloons to around 580MB.

What versions of XP can SP3 be applied?

Any 32-bit version of Windows XP SP1 or SP2.

Can SP3 be applied to Windows XP x64?

No. Users of the 64-bit version of Windows XP should download and install Windows Server 2003 SP2.

Does SP3 include Internet Explorer 7?

No, IE 7 is not part of SP3. However, updates for IE6 and IE7 are included.

If I install SP3 and something goes wrong, can I uninstall it?

Yes.

Does SP3 improve system performance?

If it does, Microsoft isn't letting on.

When can I get my hands on SP3?

April 29.

What are your impressions of SP3? Will SP3 breathe new life into XP?

Hard to tell. So far, I've not actually had any hands on time with SP3 RTM. I was provided with a secure FTP location from which to download the final bits, but despite repeated attempts to download SP1, I was unsuccessful. I should receive discs containing the final bits shortly and will carry out some detailed testing at that time.

Thoughts?

Topics: Windows, Microsoft

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29 comments
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  • KB unavailable

    The link to the MS KB does not work. More precisely, the KB "is currently unavailable."
    LB75
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    I expect that the KB will go live in the next hour or so. If not, I'll check with Microsoft.
    Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    OK, so I don't get it. I downloaded and installed SP3 weeks (if not months) ago and have had no problems what so ever. Guess I must have done something wrong............or right.
    howmek
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    oh man!

    I can't stand this Adrian guy.
    mhomer@...
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    There must be something in XP SP3 that is going to leed people to Vista. I imagine, there will be some new easy upgrade to Vista option built in.

    Just a guess
    mhomer@...
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    Thanks for the informative Q&A. Since I own a couple copies of XP and have friends, a spouse and family who all run it, it will probably behoove me to stand by with a blank CD-ROM or two and do the mondo download from MS.
    jlafitte
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    Sounds like a bunch of 4-year olds seeing who can pee the farthest....
    ktechman
    • Just the usual blog banter

      :)
      DotWhat
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    Sound like a bunch of 4-year olds on the playground seeing who can pee the farthest.........
    ktechman
    • Just the usual blog banter

      ;-)
      DotWhat
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    It's spelled "LINIX" and if ud spend amy time with a real operating system you would know this. Iu se the BSD distrobution becose it is teh most secure. In my job you have to be very aware of security and Vista XP just can't handle it bcos ppl are constantly trying to break into security at malls bcos of all the credit carsds. Bill Gates criminal empire wants you to be insecure so there computers can phoen home to redmund. All your credit informaiton is at risk if you use Microsuck!!!!
    ZDNET_guest666
    • WOW!!!

      So McDonalds now have computers? Guess you can't just have anyone stealing those little packs of dip eh?

      You want fries with that OS?
      LeeC
  • XP Destroyer

    They need extra time to make sure SP3 fouls XP without being detected, so that they can force you to buy Vista. Come on Microsoft, we're not stupid. Anyone who would apply SP3 to XP is insane.
    geminate7@...
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    write on brother! Fite teh good fite! Microsuck thinks they can continue to opress the ppl with they're stiffling of good ideas like linix but they're WRONG!!! We shall overcoem!
    ZDNET_guest666
    • fite for yore write!

      It would seem that you think Microsoft is also responsible for proper spelling and grammar, because you seem to be raging pretty hard against that, too.
      jb4300
  • LEAVE MICROSOFT ALONE!!!!

    WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!! LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!!
    Free_Thinker
  • Does SP3 improve system performance?

    Not if SP2 was anything to go by. Maybe they're going to surprise me but with the generally increasing speed of computers I doubt MS felt a major incentive to do any performance enhancements rather than adding small features and tweaking security.

    Just so long as they haven't added UAC.
    odubtaig
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    You all olny are saying these hater things becose you know I am right and that linix is going to descend on Winduhs like an avenging Angle of Death! The days of Bill Gates criminal empire are numbered, and you all know it and are scared. The number of Linix users growes every day!
    ZDNET_guest666
  • RE: It's official! Windows XP SP3 goes RTM today

    What is the angle of death? 60? 75?
    If you don't like Windows, the easy solution would be to not use it. Problem solved!
    The_Big_Easy
    • Angle of Death

      >90? i.e., obtuse.

      BTW, leavemealone19 is a faux poster.
      djchandler