WinXP SP3 goes gold, upgrade process deemed ‘painless’

The third service pack for Windows XP has hit “release to manufacturing” status, according to News.com. Those versed in software development jargon will know the RTM label implies Microsoft has completed testing and finalized the code for the service pack, and that a release to end users will follow shortly. In fact, News.com quotes April 29 as the day SP3 will be publicly available to download, confirming rumors that leaked out last week.

When SP3 finally hits Microsoft’s public distribution avenues, News.com says installing the update will be a “quick, painless” affair for the majority of users. Vista’s Service Pack 1 was also a painless update for many, but it was nonetheless postponed because of driver compatibility issues, and a few users ran into endless reboot loops and other miscellaneous problems.

A PDF file containing a complete list of the changes and new features in Windows XP SP3 can be grabbed from Microsoft’s Download Center. According to the document, SP3 will bring the usual slew of security, stability, and performance improvements as well as new features like Network Access Protection, Microsoft’s Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module, and a revamped product activation system.

Comments closed
    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    Obligatory fanboyism.

    • lucas1985
    • 11 years ago

    #46,
    Every OS of the NT family installed in a NTFS-formated partition can be considered “secure” if you know how to use and secure a system properly and I’m not talking about 3rd-party apps.
    Sure, Vista is more secure by default thanks to the standard user account/UAC, ASLR (the only security feature missing in XP), Windows Defender and other things. The same features are available in XP if you know what you’re doing.
    However, any “secure” system can be pwned if you install crap like Adobe’s Flash as a recent hacker contest proved.

    • Ryu Connor
    • 11 years ago

    q[

      • Vrock
      • 11 years ago

      I was just responding to his exaggeration in like kind. If XP is a wheelchair ridden grandmother, then Vista is a baby that’s just started to crawl. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Fighterpilot
    • 11 years ago

    Bottom line..it’s a bit like Granny getting a new wheelchair,sure she’ll go a bit faster round the Nursing home but she’s still old.

      • Vrock
      • 11 years ago

      This Grandma runs lighter and faster than MS’s new baby, which consumes vast amounts of resources just to crawl a bit.

        • Fighterpilot
        • 11 years ago

        lol..seriously V…do you ever “overtask” your PC?
        I have a good system and it sits there idling most of the time anyway.
        What ever people say about Vista,it still feels plenty snappy and has been rock solid since I bought it.Kinda like XP SP2 but..umm..better.

          • Vrock
          • 11 years ago

          I don’t know what you mean by “overtasking”. Your comment about XP being “old” is pointless, really. It’s still a fast, stable, and secure OS, and SP3 makes it even moreso. Run Vista if you want; I don’t need it.

            • barich
            • 11 years ago

            XP is neither as fast nor as secure as Vista. The lesser security is, I think, pretty obvious. As far as performance, I am not referring to the difference of a few unnoticeable percentage points in some benchmarks. I am referring to SuperFetch which makes any system with enough RAM feel significantly more responsive than XP. Applications open and respond faster than they ever did on XP, especially after bootup when XP has nothing cached yet, or after closing a memory intensive application when XP leaves most of the OS and any running applications in the pagefile until you click and wait.

            • echo_seven
            • 11 years ago

            Vista might end up faster on completing tasks, but at the very least its hard to deny that it just feels so slow. Maybe I could have found some desktop setting to fix it, but for me there was always this tiny annoying pause right before you did *anything*, no matter how trivial. After downgrading back to XP (for other reasons), the fact that XP lacks that little pause was immediately noticeable. And some of those animations were so slow, as if Vista was more concerned with showing off than letting you see the window you wanted to see.

            • droopy1592
            • 11 years ago

            I find this to be a very precise statement

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 11 years ago

            Precision is useless without accuracy
            </physics professor>

            • Fighterpilot
            • 11 years ago

            I was referring to your line about Vista using”vast amounts of resources”
            Unless you were “overtasking” what would you be doing with those “vast resources” anyway?

            • Vrock
            • 11 years ago

            q[< I was referring to your line about Vista using"vast amounts of resources" Unless you were "overtasking" what would you be doing with those "vast resources" anyway? <]q That's a fine argument if you have those resources to spare. Not everyone does. Not everyone wants to spend a couple hundred bucks on hardware and software just so they can run a new operating system at the same speed they run their current one. Especially when new OS doesn't offer much more than the current one does. Windows XP works fine. It's fast. It runs well on my current hardware. It does what I need it to do, and it does it well. Why then should I spend money and time "upgrading"?

            • Taddeusz
            • 11 years ago

            Then don’t upgrade, of course nobody is putting a gun to your head. But it doesn’t mean the people that choose to upgrade are signing their souls to the devil or something.

            It’s not like XP is all of a sudden going to one day stop working out of the blue. But what will happen is that security updates will stop being released for it. Or like what MS did in not making IE7 available for 2k or DX 10 for XP. It’s not like they can support XP indefinitely. It’s doesn’t make economic sense to do so.

            • Vrock
            • 11 years ago

            q[

            • Taddeusz
            • 11 years ago

            Like Vista or don’t like Vista. It really doesn’t matter and it doesn’t change the fact that XP is 7 years old and a bit stale technology wise. Certainly there are ways that XP can support new technologies, kind of akin to how 2k indirectly supported wireless by needed a program running to do it. But the underlying platform is rather unchangeable after so many years. It’s like running Windows 3.1 on a computer in 1998. Certainly it would run rings around how it performed years earlier on older hardware but it’s still Windows 3.1.

            • Vrock
            • 11 years ago

            Windows XP is hardly Windows 3.1, but whatever.

            • Taddeusz
            • 11 years ago

            Just another analogy.

            • Vrock
            • 11 years ago

            It sounds like you’re saying that the jump from Windows 3.1 to Win9x was as significant as the jump from Windows XP to Vista. If so, I disagree.

            • evermore
            • 11 years ago

            3.1 to 95 was far more significant than XP to Vista.

            • Vrock
            • 11 years ago

            Didn’t I just imply that?

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            Imply, Lisa? Or *[

            • Vrock
            • 11 years ago

            Oh, so we’re doing the girls’ names thing now? OK. Yes Nancy, imply.

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            Nah, it’s an obscure Simpsons quote. And what’s with the Mister Grumpy-Gus attitude lately? ๐Ÿ˜›

            • SecretMaster
            • 11 years ago

            If its any consolation I recognized the quote right away and got a good chuckle out of it.

      • flip-mode
      • 11 years ago

      This entire comment and all of its responses are preempted and negated by comment #3 and all of its responses. Flamers.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        Obligatory objection to shameless self-promotion.

    • cegras
    • 11 years ago

    Awesome, revamped product activation system!

      • Nitrodist
      • 11 years ago

      “SP3 will bring the usual slew of security, stability, and performance improvements”

      Which part does the activation updates fall under?

        • Forge
        • 11 years ago

        Wow, so many folks drinking the FUD kool-aid.

        MS’s activation changes in XP are actually a GOOD thing. Basically you can now install XP and run around keyless for a few weeks like Vista does. It’ll continue to accept the same keys XP SP2 does.

        Now, sure, if you’re using a widely pirated key, and it was added to the blacklist in SP3, then you’re still boned, but no worries, I have VLKs that haven’t travelled the world just yet. Maybe I’ll share.

        If you activated and ran before SP3, you’ll activate and run afterwards. Even better, your XP can run around while you get all your stuff set up with no key at all.

        Fewer reactivations due to ‘I finally installed those missing drivers’ == good.

    • 0g1
    • 11 years ago

    Can I upgrade to XP SP3 from Vista SP1? ๐Ÿ˜›

    • mph_Ragnarok
    • 11 years ago

    WAIT u NEVER LINKED TO THAT comic about those who type M$ , im waiting

    • Forge
    • 11 years ago

    SP3 is RTM? Guess it’s time to leak a legit VLK. I’m sure everyone will appreciate it.

      • Flying Fox
      • 11 years ago

      I am still laughing from this LOL!

    • fantastic
    • 11 years ago

    You mean I could have waited a week instead of installing 100+ hotfixes and updates? Oh well.

    • Sargent Duck
    • 11 years ago

    Obligatory remark about cheese….

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    Admins everywhere are rejoicing.

    • Valhalla926
    • 11 years ago

    Time to line up to have our teeth pulled.

    • Vrock
    • 11 years ago

    Hooray! Now I have an excuse to format C: and start over again.

    • wingless
    • 11 years ago

    Ooops, I have Win XP Pro x64. My system doesn’t need a service pack because its so much better than your pathetic 32-bit OSes!

    LOL, seriously though, this OS never crashes….I’m not kidding around with you when I say this. Its the most stable OS I’ve ever used. Its based on Windows Server 2003 so that makes sense I guess. Its compatible with every program I have, even some old old DOS games (I’m a software pack rat). I highly recommend it if you got an x64 disk included when you bought WinXP.

    Screw SP3 and upgrade to x64!

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah, x64 is/was nice. I ran the /[

      • FubbHead
      • 11 years ago

      I experience less than stellar behaviour during high disk use, like copying large files between disks, but I dunno if it’s Nvidias or Microsofts fault.

      Other than that, yep, it’s superb. But then again, so was the 32-bit variant as far as I could tell. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • TheTechReporter
        • 11 years ago

        Oh sure, blame everyone else but yourself. ๐Ÿ˜›

        Seriously, though, x64 has been around for a long time and there is _still_ no compelling reason to use it. Otherwise, I’m all for it.

          • d0g_p00p
          • 11 years ago

          Unless you want to use that 8GB of RAM you have installed.

            • Peffse
            • 11 years ago

            Yea, and then have your programs still only recognize 3GBs max.

      • Forge
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah, I wonder if MS will be pushing out 2003 SP3/XP64 SP3 soon to keep the versions in sync. It would probably be more like a rollup, though.

        • evermore
        • 11 years ago

        XP x64 and Server 2003 will not be kept “in sync” with XP 32-bit as far as Service Pack numbers. It’d just be cosmetic, since they’re different codebases, and pointless as most people using XP 32-bit either don’t know anything about x64/2003, or know the difference.

        XP x64 will be kept in sync with Server 2003, which means it’s at SP2 now. And most likely XP x64 will only be getting updates and fixes as a side-effect of any work MS does on Server 2003, otherwise I doubt they’re interested in maintaining it even as much as they’re maintaining XP 32-bit.

        It’s funny, my company’s clients only starting putting Server 2003 test systems into place within the last 2 years, and have been putting them into production only within the last year. Server 2003, new for 2007. And of course Server 2008 is now available, but we’ve actually already got some of those going into production.

    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    We’ll see. I had a handful of computers that borked when we pushed out the XP SP2 update a couple years ago. Nothing a repair install couldn’t handle, though.

    • flip-mode
    • 11 years ago

    Obligatory Vista bash and XP praise comment.

    • crazybus
    • 11 years ago

    New service pack == slipstream and reinstall.

      • sigher
      • 11 years ago

      Yeah I’d love to spend 3 weeks per month installing all my applications because I’m not competent enough to keep my system running, but alas.

    • prashu
    • 11 years ago

    painless?? my a$$

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 11 years ago

      Maybe they mean it literally, like installing sp3 won’t cause your computer to kill you while you sleep.

        • Shining Arcanine
        • 11 years ago

        Perhaps they mean that when it does, you will feel nothing. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • bthylafh
        • 11 years ago

        My NES tried that once. I woke up with the Zapper’s cord around my neck and the control deck’s cart slot opened right up in my face.

        But nobody believed me.

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