Although it was initially reported that the Windows XP Service Pack 3 Beta Preview made available to some 12,000 testers already involved in the beta programs for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008, formerly codenamed Longhorn, was the same as the initial build delivered to a limited pool of customers in mid July, that is not the case. XP SP3 Build 3180, that was served concomitantly with the first pre-beta version of Windows Vista SP1, a couple of months back, evolved to Build 3205.
Although the two builds essentially share the same name and are both still pre-beta variants of the third and final service pack for Windows XP, Neosmart indicated that they are by no means identical. The latest release of XP SP3, available for download via Microsoft Connect as a standalone installer weighting in at 334.2 MB, is opened to all current Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 beta testers. The service pack comes as the following .EXE installer: windowsxp-kb936929-sp3-x86-enu.exe, together with the hashes: CRC: 56e08837 and MD5: c8c24ec004332198c47b9ac2b3d400f7.
Windows XP SP3 Beta Build 3205 brings to the table an overhauled Windows Product Activation model that no longer requires the user to enter a product key during the operating system's setup process. The refresh also features Network Access Protection, as Microsoft promised, along with a new Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module. And on top of these extra features, Microsoft has also enhanced the security infrastructure of XP SP3 in order to deliver enhanced protection against routers.
Build 3205 XP SP3 Beta can be successfully integrated with all 32-bit editions of Windows XP and contains no less than 1,073 patches and hotfixes that have been released by Microsoft since Service Pack 2 was made available at the end of 2004. Microsoft currently plans to launch the final version of Windows XP SP3 in the second half of 2008, following the availability of Windows Vista SP1.
Microsoft, Windows XP, Service Pack, XP SP3, SP3 Beta, SP3 Beta Build 3205, KB936929, Security Update, Beta, Windows Update, Microsoft Update