Windows XP SP3 Available for Download! In two weeks!

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Windows XP SP3 Available for Download! In two weeks!

Post by ricktendo64 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:57 pm

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Microsoft confirmed officially that Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be made available for download in the next couple of weeks. It seems that Microsoft is continuing the practice of releasing the milestones of the first service pack for Windows Vista and the third refresh for Windows XP concomitantly. The Redmond company initially shipped a pre-beta build of Windows XP SP3 concomitantly with the pre-beta version of Windows Vista SP1 in mid July. Up until this point, Microsoft has been dead quiet about the development of XP SP1, with all details
stopped by the Windows Omerta codename Translucency, set in place by Sinofsky.

Now Microsoft has confirmed that the full beta of the service pack for Windows Vista will be available for download via Connect to some 10,000 to 15,000 testers. Additionally, the Redmond company also announced that the first actual beta of Windows XP SP3 will be delivered to all TechNet and Microsoft Developer Network subscribers. The third refresh for XP is planned for limited availability by mid September. At this point in time, Microsoft failed to reveal if a public beta of the service pack will be offered to users, in a manner similar to that of Windows Vista SP1.

However, unlike Vista SP1 which only now had its final availability date confirmed for the first quarter of 2008, Windows XP SP3 was scheduled all along for the first half of the coming year. In mid July, Microsoft delivered to a select pool of testers Windows XP SP3 pre-beta build 5.1.2600.3180 (xpsp.070718-2058). The version was subsequently leaked to peer-to-peer file sharing networks. Microsoft emphasized that the third service pack for Windows XP, as well as the first service pack for Windows Vista, would not impact considerably the users’ experience on each of the two operating systems. Still, XP SP3 is long overdue as Microsoft delayed the product from 2006, to 2007 and then to 2008. The last refresh, for Windows XP, SP2 was made available back in 2004.

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Post by code65536 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:12 pm

<nitpick mode>
Okay, whoever wrote that article needs to take lessons on how to write English with clarity.

"Windows XP Service Pack 3 will be made available for download in the next couple of weeks." and "The third refresh for XP is planned for limited availability by mid September." all suggest that the final SP3 will be out by then, which is directly contradictory to the statement of 5.1SP3 and 6.0SP1 coming out concurrently, the statement about the release of SP3 beta to MSDN/TechNet subscribers, and the reaffirmation of Microsoft's original 2008 timetable. Plus, I find it hard to imagine that Microsoft will push out SP3 without a formal beta.

So instead of saying ambiguously that XP SP3 will be available for download in a couple of weeks, they should have made it clear that it's the public beta of XP SP3 that will be made available.

Oh, and it'd be nice if Softpedia actually cited sources instead of just proclaiming this.
</nitpick mode>

(Edit: Nitpicking aside, this is good news... ;))

In other news, Microsoft also announced today on their Vista blog that Vista SP1 and Server 2K8 will share the same codebase (i.e., identical binaries) (the rift between XP and 2K3, given the history of NT, was the exception rather than the rule, so the Vista-2K8 rejoining isn't surprising), so I'd expect that Vista SP1 will roll out about when 2K8 comes out early next year. VS9 is also scheduled to release concurrently with 2K8, and if they are still planning for 5.1SP3 to come out alongside 6.0SP1, then it could be a rather festive 2008...
Last edited by code65536 on Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by RogueSpear » Wed Aug 29, 2007 10:25 pm

That's your typical SoftPedia writeup. The guy has a flair for completely misleading headlines, stretching the truth and poorly phrased hyperbolic assumptions. The "editorials" and the reviews are all but useless on that site. It's a nice resource software update notifications but that's about it.

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Post by newsposter » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:02 pm

It's still a beta, and one that is probably time-limited and still changes the license key requirements.

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Post by ricktendo64 » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:50 pm

I thought it was kinda odd also... Since SP2c for XP Pro is also going to be available in September.

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Post by Siginet » Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:36 pm

Anyone else think it is odd they are allready releasing a SP1 for vista? Or was Vista just that poorly written that they need a SP allready. It just proves my point that XP is a much stronger OS even without SP3. Hopefully this SP1 will make vista worth the $200 I blew on purchasing it.
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Post by 5eraph » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:01 am

If you'll remember, Siginet, XP was just as sorry in the beginning as Vista is today. Releasing SP1 within the first year is par for the course for any consumer-level Microsoft OS. ;)

I considered moving to Vista for 64-bit support, but found that XP SP2 for x64 that was released this past March works well enough for me.

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Post by code65536 » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:31 am

This is normal. Actually, the long times before XP SP2 and SP3 are out of the ordinary. If you look at the history of Windows NT, this is the norm. For NT4 and 2K, service packs came out at the rate of one per year (actually, it was even more frequent than that). NT4 SPs were sometimes separated by just a few months (I guess this was before the days of Windows Update). Remember, XP SP1 came out in about a year after RTM...

Also, the big sweeping changes in XP SP2 were out of the ordinary, too. All the other NT service packs have been more like hotfix rollups along the lines of SP1 or the upcoming SP3.
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Post by grief » Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:33 am

i'm still waiting to hear what they are planning on putting in sp3 as far as wmp and ie7 or maybe ie8 if they drag it out long enough. i see no reason why they don't put them in there since they'll be in the windows update list.

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Post by code65536 » Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:54 am

You've already heard. No IE7. This is a low-key update without new features or the sort of exceptional sweeping changes seen in SP2. This is going to be a normal service pack.

I'm disappointed too, but remember, for everyone who laments about IE7 not being included, there's probably someone who will cry bloody murder if IE7 is included. At least now, people have the choice WRT IE7. If it gets bundled in the SP, then they have no choice about it unless they reject the SP entirely, which they can't do since Microsoft will drop SP2 support not very long after SP3 comes out.

Microsoft is burdened by the need to maintain compatibility; remember the outcry over the incompatibilities introduced in IE6 SP1->SP2 as a result of tightening security? Imagine what IE7 would be like, especially since there are many corporations with home-grown intranet applications that are not very well-written and require IE6. There are many corporations that resisted SP2 because of compatibility; not because SP2 was flawed (it's not), but because in the real world, it's not uncommon for flaws to become "features" that people end up depending on, and every bug or flaw that gets fixed introduces the possibility of breakage since someone somewhere had probably written an app or a system that depends precisely on that flawed behavior.

(and this is exactly why Apple runs circles around Microsoft, because they are a small user base (and even fewer enterprise installs) and a tiny software ecosystem and are thus much more free to make compatibility-breaking changes (which they do all the time); if Apple ever displaced Microsoft, I'll have a good laugh when people realize that Apple will fall into the exact same trap)
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Post by RogueSpear » Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:30 am

I think a lot of us have also forgotten how terrible XP is out of the box - even with SP2. It's not often but every now and then I run into an XP install that is the default OEM install and holy cow is it sad. It seems like every single default is just wrong. From the visuals (everything is huge) to the absurd number of services running which not only take up RAM but exponentially increase the attack surface. It's only with a healthy serving of tweaks and third party software that the OS begins to resemble something desirable.

Unless Vista can be tweaked and tricked so that the various DRM routines and SPP are disabled I'll likely never go to it. We've been doing a crap load of testing and experimenting with Linux at my main job. While it's certainly not ready to replace all of our workstations here it will indeed replace several. I'm estimating between 25 to 33% of them. We've already completed our migration from Office XP to OpenOffice. Microsoft has nobody to blame other than themselves for that either. I don't know about the rest of you but I deal with a lot of different organizations and about the most advanced feature any of them use with Office is the "meeting request" in Outlook. Between the cost of licensing and the cost training, the total cost is entirely too high for the people around where I live.

Probably around a year ago I predicted that this would be the beginning of the end for Microsoft. Not the end as in out of business, rather the end of their heydays.

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