So it's only been since the beginning of this year that anyone turned their attention back to XP's next and neglected service pack.
A: Windows XP Service Pack 3 will not include any major new features, but it will include four minor new features that improve the system's reliability and security.
A: Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) is the final Windows XP service pack, a collection of previously-released fixes and product enhancements, as well as a few new features that are unique to this release.
A: Though XP SP3 aggregates all of the previously-released XP fixes, Microsoft now says that you will need to install at least SP1 on XP before installing SP3.
Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), due in the second quarter of 2008, will be the final XP service pack , according to Microsoft.
It can't come a moment too soon: XP SP2 (see my review) shipped over three years ago at this writing, and the company has since shipped hundreds of hot-fixes for the OS, giving users a painful updating experience, with multiple reboots.
After XP SP2 was completed, the people involved with that project moved onto other things, typically Vista or Windows Server 2008.
In the case of Windows XP SP3, Microsoft simply dedicated every available employee it could to completing Windows Vista, which by that time was years behind schedule.
Other teams work on out-of-band updates that are typically shipped via the Web and, eventually, a new or existing team is constituted to work on the next major release and the entire process begins anew.
Depending on the operating system and deployment methods, it may then be necessary to manually reinstall the service pack after each such change to the software.
This was, for example, necessary for Windows NT service packs; however, from Windows 2000 onwards, Microsoft redirected setup programs to use updated service pack files instead of files from original installation media in order to prevent manual reinstalls.
A: SP3 does not apply to the x64 version of Windows XP.
Instead, that operating system is updated via service packs aimed at Windows Server 2003. A: While Microsoft is an enormous company with over 77,000 employees worldwide and over billion in annual revenues, its organizational structure actually constrains which products are actively developed in some cases.