It takes a fair bit of nerve to charge anything to fix up a botched product, but Microsoft's $14.95 price to get a physical copy of Windows XP Service Pack 3 really takes some beating for sheer gall. While it was released earlier this year, XP SP3 has only recently started being pushed out to Australian users as part of Microsoft's Windows Update service. If Windows Update can install the update successfully, then you're typically looking at 70MB or so of downloading — painful, but not impossible. If the install chokes, though, Microsoft recommends downloading the full version of SP3, which is a rather less cosy 316MB.
When I asked Microsoft how it could justify this ridiculous state of affairs, I got the following reply: "Microsoft manages duplication of its software, including Service Packs, at regional duplication facilities. As such, the copy of Windows XP SP3 you are ordering is coming from Singapore, which reflects the shipping costs you've referenced as well as the time to delivery." That partially explains the shipping delay, but it's a lousy excuse for the price.
Source:→ ZDNet Australia