While XP may be nearing its end of life, it still enjoys a large user base and remains a strong seller. Thus many customers were thrilled when XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) came out, offering a wide variety of improvements.
Unfortunately it had a compatibility issue with Microsoft Dynamic RMS -- a program for small to medium businesses -- which caused Microsoft to decide to pull the pack, leaving users in the dark. A similar problem was found in Vista SP1, and while Microsoft did not pull Vista SP1, it halted its automatic distribution.
Well happy days are ahead, as both Vista SP1 and XP SP3 are back in action. The packs went live on Tuesday. The XP SP3 is available here. Microsoft solved the MSD RMS issue with a hotfix, which can be had here. Microsoft suggests you install this hotfix before installing XP SP3 to avoid issues.
The third service pack weighs in at 316 MB, for those interested. Over 1,100 hotfixes/patches are included in the pack. Also included are new features, among which are the handy Network Access Protection and Black Hole Router Detection.
Most will agree that while the delay of XP SP3 might be slightly embarrassing for Microsoft, the company did a remarkably good job of fixing the problem quickly and getting the packs back online. The whole process only took a week, lying to rest customer fears caused by Microsoft failing to disclose when the packs would be available again.
Windows Update is also back to automatically distributing the pack once again. Users who disabled the feature can re-enable it to get the pack automatically without any effort.
Microsoft recently announced that it will likely plan to stick to its June 30th end of life date for XP. However, many manufacturers will continue to support it after the date. The new XP SP3 provides one more compelling reason for users to enjoy this mature operating system, which has been fine tuned over the course of three major service packs.
Some users have expressed that they plan on using XP until Windows 7 comes out in 2010. While this approach certainly isn't for everyone, those users and the many IT users who deploy XP will be pleased that the service pack is once again available.
quote: turning off UAC
quote: I'm personally waiting for Windows 7. It seems like it's going to be more streamlined and I hear they're going back to just two versions of the OS. I can wait a year or two.
quote: "It bears no resemblance to the release of XP over Win2k" - Ummm, the way I remember things, folks balked over upgrading to XP when it came out as well. This is no different.
quote: The problem, mein freund, is that keeping XP on the shelves and selling it alongside (i.e. instead of, effectively) Vista is tantamount to admitting that Vista is teh suck.
quote: If Jobs had a brain, he'd sell his OS openly for installation on x86 machines.
quote: ...you're looking in the wrong placein no way is Linux a valid choice for 99%If Jobs had a brain, he'd sell his OS openly for installation on x86 machines.
quote: Mac is an option but not for gamers
quote: or for people who need/want the vast Windows library of software available
quote: Or for people who aren't stupid enough to pay too much money for too little product (getting in return something that is simply more shiney for their extra dollars)
quote: If Jobs had a brain, he'd sell his OS openly for installation on x86 machines. Then we'd have a serious OS competition on our hands.
quote: He's not that smart though...and so, Windows continues to be the only solution for the vast majority of all users.
quote: If Jobs had a brain, he'd sell his OS openly for installation on x86 machines. Then we'd have a serious OS competition on our hands. He's not that smart though...and so, Windows continues to be the only solution for the vast majority of all users.
quote: I'm seriously disappointed that Microsoft backed off on making Vista 64 bit only to appease the backward compatible masses. Even more so that they would do it again with Windows 7. The time is now to say goodbye to 32 bit.
quote: I'll buy a PS3 before I install Vista... Actually, GTA4 is the reason I'll be getting a PS3
quote: ...lying to rest customer fears caused by Microsoft...
quote: if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next service pack that contains this hotfix.
quote: I just hate un informed tech wannabes.
quote: Knowing better
quote: un informed tech wannabes
quote: XP SP2 vs Vista RTM and Vista SP1... Hmm, almost equal or better on everything goes to Vista. I'd like to see this on a Quadcore with 4GB Ram.Adrian Kingsley-Hughes from ZDNet.com executed the tests using the AMD Phenom 9700, Radeon 3850 graphics card, 2GB of RAM and ATi Catalyst drivers 8.2.The three games which performed better on Vista than on XP SP2 were Call of Duty 4, F.E.A.R. and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.Vista gave The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion the best performance boost compared to XP SP2, working out at an average of 9 frames per second faster on Vista RTM and 13 frames per second faster on Vista SP1.Seven out of ten of the games tested produced frame rate averages which were lower under Vista than XP SP2, however, a closer look at the numbers shows that when Vista is slower than XP SP2, the actual frame rate differences are only in the single digits.Here are the results: average frame rates for each game on each platformCoD4XP SP2: 56 fps | Vista RTM: 58 fps | Vista SP1: 62 fpsFearXP SP2: 70 fps | Vista RTM: 71 fps | Vista SP1: 71 fpsOblivionXP SP2: 56 fps | Vista RTM: 67 fps | Vista SP1: 69 fpsBioshock (DX9)XP SP2: 50 fps | Vista RTM: 46 fps | Vista SP1: 47 fpsCoHXP SP2: 30 fps | Vista RTM: 28 fps | Vista SP1: 28 fpsCrysisXP SP2: 27 fps | Vista RTM: 24 fps | Vista SP1: 23 fpsDoom3XP SP2: 157 fps | Vista RTM: 138 fps | Vista SP1: 142 fpsSCXP SP2: 47 fps | Vista RTM: 44 fps | Vista SP1: 44 fpsUT3XP SP2: 68 fps | Vista RTM: 64 fps | Vista SP1: 65 fpsWiCXP SP2: 24 fps | Vista RTM: 22 fps | Vista SP1: 22 fps