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Microsoft opens the floodgates for XP SP3 RC2

While Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) has received the bulk of the attention for the past few months, there's another service pack eagerly awaited for Windows users: Windows XP SP3.

Microsoft released SP3 to testers last week, but the general public can now download the service pack via Windows Update. Users have to first download a small registry file from Microsoft which gives them special access to Windows Update to download SP3.

"The script sets a registry key on your system. The registry key is required for Windows Update to recognize your machine as a valid target for Windows XP Service Pack 3 RC2," states Microsoft. "It is recommended that you apply the resulting update package to an activated, genuine copy of Windows XP, in a test environment."

Users are also asked to remove any previous beta or release candidate versions of SP3 before proceeding with the latest update.

Some of the new functionality included with SP3 include Black hole router detection, Network Access Protection, Credentials security service provider and the Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module.


Microsoft says that the RTM version of Service Pack 3 will be available during the first half of 2008. If all goes well with RC2 testing, we should see the final code shortly.





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