After a surprise delay caused by a compatibility snag last Tuesday, the third service pack for Windows XP has finally made its way onto Windows Update and Microsoft's Download Center. Windows XP users can simply hit update.microsoft.com in Internet Explorer or click "Windows Update" in their Start menus to begin the update process. Microsoft also offers a standalone network installer and ISO disc image of SP3 for folks with more specific needs.
Those who have been following the great SP3 saga will know this new service pack combines all previously released Windows XP updates into a single, tidy package. Users can also look forward to some general security, stability, and performance improvements as well as a few new features, such as Network Access Protection, Microsoft's Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module, and a revamped activation system. You can check out the full SP3 overview for more details.