XP SP3 delayed by RMS

May 2, 2008 // 9:11 a.m.

Tags: #delay #rms #sp1 #sp3 #vista #windows #xp

If you're wondering why you haven't been able to download Service Pack 3 for your Windows XP install, then blame Microsoft.

The update, which promises speed improvements alongside bugfixes galore and which is likely to be the last official Service Pack produced for the last-generation operating system, was supposed to be released to Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center on the 29th of April. Don't bother rushing off to check – it never happened.

According to ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley the reason is due to a compatibility issue between SP3 and the Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System, or RMS. RMS is a point-of-sale system developed by Microsoft and aimed at small businesses, so it's not likely to be something that'll stop any of our readers installing SP3 on their home machines.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has elected to delay the release of the service pack until a filter can be put in place preventing systems with Microsoft Dynamic RMS installed from being offered SP3. Foley quotes an un-named Microsoft spokesman as saying that “the fix is currently in testing and will be available as soon as that process is complete.

The issue doesn't just affect Windows XP's latest service pack, either – whatever the incompatibility with RMS is, Windows Vista SP1 causes the same issues. As a result, Microsoft has chosen to remove Vista SP1 from the list of updates delivered to systems via Automatic Updates until a similar filter can be developed to prevent installation on a system running RMS. Unlike XP SP3, Vista SP1 will remain available for manual downloading and installation via the Microsoft Download Center and the 'Custom' option in Windows Update.

If you are running RMS and would still quite like to update your system to the latest version – something that won't be possible even after the 'fix' has been deployed and the service packs returned to their rightful places – then Microsoft's only advice is to “contact Microsoft Customer Support Services for additional information.” If you've already installed XP SP3 or Vista SP1 on your point-of-sale system, then I'd advise crossing your fingers and checking your backups.

Anybody here still waiting for XP SP3, or did you get too impatient and download it from another source? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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