Once again Paul Thurrott has some interesting information about Windows XP SP3. This is just a short summary for the busy admins among us.

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  • Service Pack 3 will be the last SP for Windows XP.
  • As usual this SP can be installed on a fresh Windows XP without installing prior service packs first.
  • Why did Microsoft wait for over three years to release SP3? Simply because everyone was working on Vista.
  • New features: Network Access Protection (NAP) support, product key-less install option, a new kernel module for several different cryptographic algorithms, "black hole router" detection (router that incorrectly reports their network path information).
  • Release date of Windows XP SP3: second quarter of 2008, or three months after the release of Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008.

There is certainly nothing revolutionary in this service pack. Of course, Microsoft wants everyone to migrate to Vista now. They already made the mistake of adding too many new features with SP2. Thus, many think that an upgrade to Vista is not necessary just because of the improved security.

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