Microsoft rolls out Windows XP SP3 beta

Written by Phil Cogar

October 10, 2007 // 10:29 a.m.

Tags: #beta #features #microsoft #sp3 #windows-xp

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.

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