XP SP3's due date is now anyone's guess

Last week, I posted that I was hearing the final release of Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 was due imminently. This week's update: I have no idea when XP SP3 is coming.

Last week, I posted that I was hearing the final release of Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 was due imminently. This week's update: I have no idea when XP SP3 is coming.

Microsoft has maintained for the past few months that it would release XP SP3 in the first half of calendar 2008. Company officials repeatedly declined to provide more granular details (at least not publicly).

CRN reported late last week that the release notes on the 5503 build of XP SP3 that slipped out onto torrents a week ago said that Microsoft was targeting today, March 24, to release the final SP3.

But over the weekend, the date sleuths over at the TechArp site said that Microsoft had delayed its release date for SP3 to some time in the second half of April (at least for English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Simplified Chinese users). SP3 in other languages would take another three weeks beyond the initial release date, TechArp said. (Thanks to Bink.nu for a pointer to the latest XP SP3 update from TechArp.)

That's all I know, at this point. I don't have any more information on whether there will be any more public or private test releases of XP SP3 coming or why it is not shipping sooner.

Some Microsoft watchers (including yours truly) have speculated that Microsoft hasn't been hustling to refresh XP because that will give users wary of Windows Vista one more reason to claim that XP is good enough and Vista is unnecessary. But Microsoft also is adding some new functionality to XP SP3 (like Network Access Protection support) that the company seemingly would want to get out there so that XP can be a better client for Windows Server 2008.

Anyone else have any new info on SP3's whereabouts? Chime in, if so.