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Microsoft rolls out Windows XP SP3 beta

Microsoft rolls out Windows XP SP3 beta

Microsoft is extending the lifeline of Windows XP SP3.

The last major update to Windows XP is coming closer to its final release date. Microsoft released the latest beta of SP3 to tier-one beta testers late last week and since then, we've come to find out the contents of the update.

What may come as a surprise to most people, SP3 will actually incorporate new features into Windows XP instead of just being one massive roundup all of hotfixes and patches. The new features are basically a port from Vista so it should keep users that are unwilling to make the switch yet happy. Thanks to the bloggers at NeoSmart, we know that the new features being introduced are:
  • New Windows Product Activation model
  • Network Access Protection modules and policies
  • New Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic model
  • New "Black Hole Router" detection
There are also 1,073 patches and hotfixes included in the release - 114 of which are security related. The remaining are bugfixes, performance fixes, reliability updates, BSOD fixes, and improvements to the kernel.

Service Pack 3 is compatible with all 32-bit versions of Windows XP, so no matter if you're on Professional, Home, or Media Center Edition, you'll be able to get all of the updates and improvements.

An update to Windows XP just goes to show just how hard of a fight the OS is going to put up before its is eventually put down late next June. Just a few days ago, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7 to all users of Windows XP.

Expect a finalised version of SP3 to be released sometime in the first half of 2008.

Will this new injection of features into XP's bloodstream mean that it will be just that much longer before you make the switch to Vista? Tell us your thoughts over in the forums.

34 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
riggs 10th October 2007, 12:00 Quote
Sounds interesting, but I wonder how much of a performance hit/gain users will get?

I won't be getting Vista until PC upgrade time, which will be around this time next year. No point in using Vista now - it's too expensive, buggy (or so I've heard), slower than XP, and I don't even own a DX10 GFX card...so what's the point?
[USRF]Obiwan 10th October 2007, 12:34 Quote
New activation model..

So half of the world xp users have to register xp after the update...

lol
Aankhen 10th October 2007, 12:51 Quote
Does it change Windows Explorer to be more like the Vista Windows Explorer? Now that would rock.
Buzzons 10th October 2007, 15:34 Quote
Just to say, both NT4 and 2000 had more than 3 Service packs. NT4 got up to 6 before giving up the ghost, and 2000 had 4.. so why the big deal that XP has 3
GoodBytes 10th October 2007, 16:18 Quote
I think that the network upgrade that WinXP will get, is for better compatibility with Vista netwrork system.
So that you can network with more ease Windows XP PC's with Vista PC's

What's a bit funny is that Win2000 had 3 Service Pack within what? 1? 1 year and half? since it's released (the 4th one was like WinXP SP1). It just show how much issue it had. And to top it off, WinXP greatly based on Win2000, was crap when it was released.

And people complain about Vista.... pffff... ;P
Hells_Bliss 10th October 2007, 17:14 Quote
can anybody tell me, apart from marketing, why it is not possible for XP to have DX10?

overall...i live servicepacks, they make my life easier when I'm making new computers :p
pendragon 10th October 2007, 17:53 Quote
i heard about this last week on slashdot.. other than the bug fixes, i can't say im really crazy about the new 'features' it'll be adding
MilkMan5 10th October 2007, 18:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hells_Bliss
can anybody tell me, apart from marketing, why it is not possible for XP to have DX10?

overall...i live servicepacks, they make my life easier when I'm making new computers :p

Win XP & DX10 - I wish :(

Why it is not possible - because Microsoft wants to push people to Vista.
What a shame.
GoodBytes 10th October 2007, 18:50 Quote
NO!
It's been said several times again and again:
XP would need a complete rewrite. New Drivers, New HAL, New Kernel, and New Driver Manager.

So forget it!
E.E.L. Ambiense 10th October 2007, 18:54 Quote
In regards to DX10 on XP, check these guys out...

Apparently writing ware to allow vista-only games to run on XP.
cosmic 10th October 2007, 21:02 Quote
All development companies have to draw a line somewhere and concentrate on the things that will bring in future revenues, so DX10 was where part of the line hit. SP3 should help tidy up XP to reduce support costs and make it a better stepping stone to Vista customers maybe by improving compatibility.
completemadness 10th October 2007, 22:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodBytes
NO!
It's been said several times again and again:
XP would need a complete rewrite. New Drivers, New HAL, New Kernel, and New Driver Manager.

So forget it!
That's a load of ****

Sure, if they just put DX10 on XP it wouldn't work fantastically (Well as good as on vista) but it would run
Plus it would finally let MS say "hey look, vista does actually perform better then XP"

But if XP had DX10 vista wouldn't be as popular, most of the people I've heard saying "I upgraded to vista" are basically saying its cos of DX10 (which is pointless anyway, due to the crappy selection of DX10)

And on top of that, if MS did make DX10 XP compatible, developers could all start writing for DX10 right now, talk about shooting yourself in the foot
GoodBytes 10th October 2007, 23:04 Quote
They already make games in DX10 and DX9 simultaneously.
With a simple "if()" command, they can execute a code optimized for DX9 or 10, depending on what the user has.

And form your pint of view, you are saying:
Well they can import the new GUI very easily to XP, same for instant search, the new dialog box system, volume control system, security, etc.. to XP, and Vista is useless.

If Microsoft felt that a re-write of the core of Windows was necessary, trust me it is. They would have not spend billions on something that they could have simply upgraded and STILL sell it at over (depending where you are, and which edition) 300$ Canadian retail. Business is to do business, if they can cut 1$ they would.

Maybe Microsoft found that it was time to let go this core system which dates since 1993, and create a new one. Yet for some reason they called it NT6, when it's probably supposed to be called NT-NT1 (NT stand for New Technology, for people that didn't know), but that would sound lame. New Technology New Technology version 1. Like Win2K slogan at it's startup, "Build on NT Technology" (so that makes: Build on New Technology Technology)
500mph 11th October 2007, 00:46 Quote
Well, I'm glad to say I'm a happy Vista user.
No problems at all.(Thanks Dell)
Even though i don't have DX10 just yet, I will soon.
culley 11th October 2007, 07:44 Quote
"There are also 1,073 patches and hotfixes included in the release" Holy smokes, how much of a download is that going to be!
Aankhen 11th October 2007, 08:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by completemadness
Sure, if they just put DX10 on XP it wouldn't work fantastically (Well as good as on vista) but it would run
You are basing this on what, exactly?
ssj12 11th October 2007, 08:42 Quote
so.. any body make a torrent file for this yet? lol
Woodstock 11th October 2007, 09:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by E.E.L. Ambiense
In regards to DX10 on XP, check these guys out...

Apparently writing ware to allow vista-only games to run on XP.

in direct x 9. Give up on wanting DX10 on XP its not going to happen
koola 11th October 2007, 11:43 Quote
Try look at it from this angle, the most market share atm is XP with dx9. Devs are not gonna start doing dx10 only games for some time to come. When that times does come, I'll probs be playing games on Linux :D
Cinnander 11th October 2007, 12:36 Quote
Wonder why they're trumpeting this black hole router thing so much... I don't think it's an issue I've *ever* noticed and I roam around a bit using internet from a lot of places, so far no suspiciously high packet loss etc... :o
HourBeforeDawn 12th October 2007, 06:00 Quote
well no matter what Im waiting for SP1 of Vista before I make the full switch over... that is if I like what SP1 has to offer in terms of performance and so forth...
MilkMan5 12th October 2007, 15:24 Quote
Come on – Microsoft can make anything happen, that’s what they do, they’re huge software developers.
So don’t tell me that Microsoft can’t get DX10 to run on XP!

Even if you do, I will still not believe you. :D

But I do understand the reasoning why this is happening.

Getting back to the original thread – I’m very much looking forward to XP SP3
Aankhen 12th October 2007, 18:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by MilkMan5
Come on – Microsoft can make anything happen, that’s what they do, they’re huge software developers.
So don’t tell me that Microsoft can’t get DX10 to run on XP!
You don't understand. They already did, and they rolled up all the massive changes involved into something called Vista. :)
E.E.L. Ambiense 12th October 2007, 18:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodstock
Give up on wanting DX10 on XP its not going to happen.

It's not like I really care at this point. Merely offering info in regards to the topic/subtopic. If I wanted DX10 I'd get Vista, which I plan on doing sooner or later. Time to retire my OEM copy of XP Pro; the disc is chewed to all-hell! ;)
cpemma 13th October 2007, 20:27 Quote
Microsoft recently ticked off the independent "service pack" creators/distributors, so the MS_SP3 one will mean you can do a fresh XP install and get reasonably up to date with security before you need to go online. ;)
Woodstock 14th October 2007, 10:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpemma
Microsoft recently ticked off the independent "service pack" creators/distributors, so the MS_SP3 one will mean you can do a fresh XP install and get reasonably up to date with security before you need to go online. ;)

for about a week
MrPras 20th December 2007, 21:52 Quote
I have DX10 on my XP machine. It was provided by a friend to get Halo2 running on XP.

It does work. Basically it's running in Debug mode, but it still works.

Anyone who says XP can't support DX10 should look around for themselves instead of relying on the marketing engine of the worlds largest software corp for facts.

Fact is, DX10 like any technology COULD be built into XP. It runs. Fact, don't believe me? I don't care..

DX10 isn't available for XP because Microsoft want to push people towards Vista.

In my opinion, they should have kept the line of legacy compatible OS's (Vista included) intact and delivered DX10 for both.

Their next OS is supposed to be a jump (Vienna, Windows7, who knows what it will be called) and will not be based on Legacy OS (NT tech). They should have taken that opportunity to make a decision like this - forcing people to upgrade to Vista just creates resentments and gives the MS-haters more to whine about.
MrPras 20th December 2007, 21:56 Quote
For those who want to try it

Download the dxsdk_apr2007.exe

copy the d3d10.dll, d3dx10.dll, d3dx10_33.dll, d3dx10d.dll, d3dx10d_33.dll, dxgi.dll and Nucleus.dll to xp system32

then open the SDK and start in debug mode (i forgot the exact details, my friend set it up for me - you can use google right?)
GoodBytes 21st December 2007, 05:46 Quote
NO, that makes a translation from DX10 to DX9 so DX10 game works... but it run slower then in Vista, and you lose MANY of DX10 features.
ashwini 15th January 2008, 10:50 Quote
hi,
can anyone plz tell where i can get Nucleus.dll from? i tried searching the internet and my PC for it. but could not find it.

thanx in advance
Bladestorm 15th January 2008, 12:38 Quote
Halo 2 isn't really DX10, hell Halo 3 isn't really DX10 either .. Halo2 was "Vista only" which doesn't mean it won't run on XP, it means Microsoft don't want you running it on XP, there is a massive difference. (The same is true for the bulk of vista-only games so far as well)
Shielder 15th January 2008, 13:18 Quote
AFAIK, Vista uses a completely different method for the kernel to address the graphics driver. I think the graphics drivers have (finally) been separated from the kernel layer. This is why, IIRC, the drivers for VISTA were so crap to begin with, the developers couldn't figure out how to get XP speeds without running the drivers in the kernel layer.

In XP, the drivers are integrated into the kernel and thus leave great gaping security holes open for any piece of malware to infect.

I could be wrong on this though.

Andy
completemadness 15th January 2008, 15:47 Quote
I thought the reason they pushed it out the kernal is so that if the gfx driver crashes, windows doesnt
GoodBytes 15th January 2008, 16:34 Quote
If I'm not mistaken completemadness is correct, which leads a bit to Shielder point.
Proof, I saw it, with the early drivers for Vista for my Nvidia card, sometimes the drivers crashed (game + Windows interface are not visible), Windows doesn't freeze, and re-launches the drivers and you see your desktop right away with nothing lost (other then your game).

But on Shielder point, it is not to say that it is not impossible, just a different approach needs (and already is) done. On every driver update I saw so far, all I see is more and more stability (frankly I didn't see it crash for a while) and a visible performance increase.
I think so far, for most new games, with the latest drivers you have near or the same performance as XP.
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