Windows XP SP3 Not Until Late 2007

According to an update on Microsoft's support lifecycle Web site, the next service pack for Windows XP isn't due out until the second half of 2007 -- one full year after Windows Vista launches.

XP SP3 will likely serve as a cumulative update for what will soon become Microsoft's legacy operating system.

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Service Pack 2 for Windows XP was an extensive upgrade, bringing a new security center and improvements in wireless networking and Internet Explorer. However, with SP3 arriving three years later, the update will focus security patches and bug fixes rather than feature enhancements.

But Microsoft says the 2007 timeframe is not a delay for the third service pack, saying it did not have any plans to ship SP3 in 2005 or 2006.

"It was reported almost one year ago that Steve said SP3 'might' ship before Windows Vista; however, since that time the focus has been and continues to be shipping Windows Vista," Windows product manager Jed Rose told BetaNews. "We are tentatively targeting the second half of 2007 to release XP SP3."

Microsoft also notes the 2007 date is still preliminary at this time.

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