Microsoft officials said at the end of August that they planned to release Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet testers within a couple weeks.
It is now more than a month later. And it doesn't seem Microsoft has made good on that promise. The company did, however, broaden the private XP SP3 beta on the evening of October 4 to include Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 testers.
The note, sent out to the expanded group of testers, said:
"As is standard practice for operating systems nearing the end of their sales period, Microsoft will be releasing a final Service Pack for Windows XP in the first half of 2008. Microsoft is pleased to announce the availability of Windows XP Service Pack 3 Beta Preview, to Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 beta testers.
"Please obtain the update package for Windows XP SP3 Beta Preview in English, German or Japanese, as well as Release Notes. You can use your current bug logging tools to file bugs; we request that you preface bugs with [XPSP3] in the title.
"We are interested in all feedback on Windows XP SP3. We are especially interested in scenarios involving communication between Windows XP Service Pack 3 machines and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 or Windows Server 2008 machines.
"You may download the files here."
It sounds, from a report on Bink.Nu, as though the XP SP3 beta bits the expanded group of testers are receiving is the same as the ones that the private testers got months ago.
I asked Microsoft when it planned to make the test build of XP SP3 available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers. No word back. If and when I get an update, I'll refresh this post.
Update on October 5: It took a while, but here's all the Windows Client team will say (via a company spokesperson):
"Regarding XP SP3, it was made available to about 12,000 private beta testers yesterday (October 4). We decided to release a private beta first to select testers, which happened last week. We are still planning on a public beta, which should be available in the future, but we have no more information to share today."
I asked again when the promised TechNet/MSDN beta delivery would happen. Nope, nada:
"At this time we have no more information to share on a public beta," the spokesperson said.
XP SP3 is still on track to go final in the first half of 2008, according to the October 4 note that Microsoft sent to testers.