Even though I vowed I was getting out of the date-prediction business — at least when it came to Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 — I’m breaking my promise. I am hearing from reliable sources that Microsoft is planning to announce the release to manufacturing (RTM) of XP SP3 tomorrow, April 21.
Microsoft planned to deliver the final XP SP3 bits to OEMs, volume licensees, Connect testers, and Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet subscribers on April 21. Neowin said Microsoft planned to make SP3 available via Microsoft Update, Windows Update and the Download Center on April 29 and to push it out via Automatic Updates on June 10.
Microsoft, for its part, has been sticking to the same no-comment line for the past few months, stating that XP SP3 would be delivered in the first half of calendar 2008.
XP SP3 “includes all previously released updates for the operating system. This update also includes a small number of new functionalities, which do not significantly change customers’ experience with the operating system,” according to Microsoft’s white paper, detailing the soon-to-be-delivered SP. (Two of the new components are improvements to “black hole” router detection and support for Network Access Protection, or NAP), policy enforcement.) A side note: Windows XP SP3 is for x86 editions of Windows XP only and doesn’t include Internet Explorer 7 (it comes with IE 6, like the original XP did).
Microsoft, Windows XP, SP3, XP SP3, RTM, Release