Despite rumors, Windows XP SP3 still not quite ready

With Windows Vista Service Pack 1 out the door, Microsoft was largely expected to release Windows XP SP3 last week or this week. It didn't, instead making public a Refresh build of SP3 Release Candidate 2.

Microsoft says it "made this release candidate available in order to receive further user feedback prior to the release of Windows XP SP3." But many users are wondering what's taking the company so long, as SP3 is largely a roll-up of existing updates and includes no major new features.

The first SP3 RC2 build was released in February, and was slated to be the final release candidate of the service pack. Microsoft says the Refresh is simply "to validate improvements to the Windows Update experience with Service Pack 3." In turn, there's no real changes in the service pack as far as bug fixes.

Microsoft hasn't provided any further guidance as to when XP SP3 final will be available to the public, only stating its original timeline of the first half of 2008. The company has good reason: it wants the focus to remain on Vista SP1 and continuing to provide updates to XP could lead people to hold off on migrating to Microsoft's newest operating system.

Download Windows XP SP3 RC2 Refresh from FileForum.

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