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.