Might XP SP3 ship in 2007, after all?

Might XP SP3 ship in 2007, after all?

Summary: Microsoft's party line for the past few months has been that it wasn't going to get Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 out the door until some time in the first half of 2008. But this week, Microsoft hinted that XP SP3 might actually ship in 2007, as many customers had been hoping and expecting.

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

Microsoft's party line for the past few months has been that it wasn't going to get Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 out the door until some time in the first half of 2008.

But this week, Microsoft hinted that XP SP3 might actually ship this year.

It could be a simple typo in a press release. But then, again, maybe it's not and it's part of the Windows client team's mission to under-promise and over-deliver. While the element of surprise is nice, corporate customers tell me having a real timetable for planning purposes would be much nicer.

The folks over at the Microsoft Forum Software Network (MSFN.org) site were the ones with the eagle eyes. They caught the XP SP3 reference in a Microsoft Interop press release from May 21. Here's the mention:

"The Juniper Networks Infranet Controller, the policy management server at the heart of the Juniper UAC solution, will be able to leverage the built-in security assessment capabilities and the SOH protocol provided by the NAP agent built into the Windows Vista® and Microsoft Windows XP operating systems. Microsoft Network Policy Server (NPS) brings a rich ecosystem of NAP health agents and will be able to interoperate with the Juniper Networks UAC solution in heterogeneous network environments. Microsoft NPS can either act as a policy server or be leveraged by the Juniper Infranet Controller for rich endpoint information. Microsoft is announcing that Windows Vista supports this protocol today and Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) will support it as well later this year. The Juniper Networks UAC solution is expected to support the new TNC standard in the first half of 2008."

Windows Vista SP 1, a build of which was spotted in the wild at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) last week, also is expected later this year, around the same time that Windows Server 2008 is released to manufacturing.

If XP SP3 does, indeed, ship by the end of 2007, there will be a lot of pleasantly surprised XP users out there. And Microsoft would disprove the rampant theory that the company is intentionally holding back XP SP3 to try to get more customers to upgrade to Windows Vista. Microsoft released XP SP2 three years ago, in 2004.

I've asked Microsoft if they've updated their XP SP3 timetable. I'll include the official response once I get it.

Update: It's not really a response at all. But this is all the Windows client team would say, re: XP SP3:

"We have plans to release a third service pack for Windows XP, but right now our priority is Windows Vista. We have no other details on timing, or what the service pack will contain at this time. We will be sure to update you when we have more information to share. "

Update No. 2: It was too good to be true. There was a mistake in the Microsoft press release, Microsoft officials admit. Back to the "first half of 2008" due date.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Will it cost $129?

    OSX updates do so I'm wondering if this Windows update will cost anything.
    • Hahaha...

      Nice troll!
    • It's a patch set

      This a patch set. Patch sets don't cost money or at least they shouldn't.

      How about Window NT 3.51, NT 4.0, Win 2k and finally Win XP?

      Then there is Win 95, 95OSr2, Win 98, win98SE, winME. Each update you had to pay for same as OSX.

      You pay for each update in Windows too. Imagine that!
      • NZ

        has never gotten over the trauma of his mother telling him he couldn't have a Mac.
    • How much was that windows update?

      Was it $325? Was it $299? How much did you pay for that windows update? You
      know from xp to visa? I bet you can't wait till you pay a monthly fee to use windows.
      • How much was it?

        I don't know, but I think you just inspired a new satire.

        "How much is that doggie of a Windows? Arf, arf!" :-)

      • nothing

        0$ to upgrade
        simply finding my system was already activated after I installed it ;)
    • The zealot , Non Zealot is at it again

      OS X Updates are free . The OS X Upgrades cost money . Do you see the difference between updates/upgrades ?
  • It's nice to know it's coming out in 2007, but I agree - Vista

    has priority.

    And a service pack is free, why do people think it will cost $129?
    • Because anti-Mac zealots label new versions of OS X...

      ...service packs when they're really not. And, IMO, It's plain foolish for them to do so.
    • Vistas only

      Priority should be to be sent to that special place reservered for all the garbage OS like 95A WinME and Vista all are junk and deserve the dumpster not special priority!!
  • What is behind the Curtain?

    What is behind the Curtain?

    I?m not a specialist with a crystal bulb but I could use my commonsense and feel that Microsoft is having a hard time to define what will be part of SP3.

    Microsoft won?t have the will to make a fourth SP and we know why. Vista is the main interest of all Microsoft goals for the near future for sales and supports investment.

    Actually, it is easy to understand that Vista (without statistic disinformations) is not considered by the Offices business and Governments market has potential buyers. The only market that supply Vista is the OEM machines makers that sell the product to home users that are not inform about this OS and what it is offering.

    My expectation is that Microsoft will delivered SP3 in fall of this year (after the vacations) and this will happen because lots of pressure from Companies that don?t want to change for Vista or will not buy Vista and are looking and waiting after Windows XP Pro SP3 will make there voice eared by Microsoft.

    Vista Ultimate is having actually some discount on it and issuing a SP1 now will probably make buyers wait and see.

    Microsoft is issuing Longhorn Server OS soon with probably the original mind of security and stability that was the target originally. Why?

    Because this time the developers of Antivirus and Antispywares won?t make any lobby to contest the fact that their business are in danger.

    Maybe you could answer this question Mrs. Foley. If a company place a Longhorn Server (Windows Server 2008) to secure there PC?s parks will this improve that IT pros will be pleased with the emphasis on security, the new tools for management, and the many significant under-the-hood improvements ? Or why Vista doesn?t have the same improvement?

    I?m sure that lots of PC users and buyers would like to have some light on this.
  • My worst problem from Microsoft

    This is inexcusable and unforgivable. Wipe a disk or build a new PC and you have to download 70+ hot fixes if you're not in a domain with SUS. If they gave a fig about their customers, they'd at least offer us a tested rollup that doesn't require hot fixes to repair damage done by earlier hot fixes.
  • Might XP SP3 ship in 2007, after all?

    All the hype about Vista really beats me. I've been using XP for years now. Never had any, and I mean any, problems with it, stability-wise.
    On the other hand I don't use any of the XP's "features". I play music with Winamp, view pictures with Irfan View, edit them with Photoshop or Jasc Paint Shop, any video with Divx, FLV, etc., maintenance with Tune up Utilities, defrag with Diskeeper Professional, Free AVG for Antivirus, Spybot, AVG Rootkit, Adaware, Firefox for browsing, Eudora for e-mail, etc. etc. etc.
    My profession is Industrial Design, so Windows of any flavor is useless for that (CAD).
    Believe me, days go by I don't see anything of Windows at all. It's an OS for me to run really useful programs, that's it.
    Vista is a Microsoft program and it will always be at the top of the list of hackers to break it, no matter what B. Gates and the Microsoft gang do about it. Shooting an elephant is easier than shooting a mouse, isn't it?
    Linux is not an option. It's too geeky and clanish.
  • Might XP SP3 ship in 2007, after all?

    Oh, forgot something. Like Simon Travaglia @ The Register said, he is using a "simulation" of Vista.
    He switched on all the garish visual effects of XP, took half the RAM out of his machine and broke the Media Player.
    "Works like a charm' he says.
    Best way to describe Vista I've seen.
    Credit where it's due: http://www.theregister.co.uk/odds/bofh/
  • I Want My SP3 !

    I just installed Vista ultimate, and its so slooooow!!! I can't wait to dump this dog and go back to my speedy Win XP. I tried everything, including disabling Aero.

    I have dual 2.8 gig processors, a video card with 512 meg ram on it, and Vista is still painfully slow. It's no wonder people are demanding Dell start selling Windows XP with their new pcs.

    Microsoft has forgotten what an operating system is supposed to do. I don't want some bloated pig sucking up all my computer resources for menu fades, wallpaper in pastels, and endlessly creating shortcuts to sort data I have already organized on my hard drive. I want to use my resources to LAUNCH APPLICATIONS! I want to get some work done!

    I have seen people run Win XP with only 64 meg of ram. Now, you got to have 2 gig ram just to get so so performance. Sheesh!
  • RE: Might XP SP3 ship in 2007, after all?

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