• XP SP3: What to Expect
  • XP SP3: What to Expect
    Written by Grinch
    Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:32 pm

    Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) is due to get a new service pack update. Service Pack 3 (SP3) is due to hit the streets relatively soon. Currently, SP3 is at Release Candidate 1 (RC1). For those of us still using XP here is what you can look forward to with the new service pack.

    Windows XP SP3 includes all previously released updates for the operating system, in addition to a small number of new functionalities that will not significantly change your experience with the operating system. This is nothing new. Microsoft typically does this with every service pack it has ever released. SP2 contained all of the updates released prior to SP2. SP3 will follow in the same manner. SP3 will also include security updates and hotfixes, and select out-of-band releases. For example, the service pack includes functionality previously released as updates, such as the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 and the Microsoft Core XML Services 6.0 (MSXML6).

    Microsoft is not adding significant functionality from newer versions of Windows, such as Windows Vista, to Windows XP through XP SP3. Windows XP SP3 does not include Windows Internet Explorer 7 (IE7), although Windows XP SP3 does include updates to both Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) and IE 7, and it will update whichever version is installed on the computer. One notable exception is that, SP3 does include Network Access Protection (NAP) to help organizations that use Windows XP to take advantage of new features in the Windows Server 2008 operating system. This is good news for us System Administrators who will be upgrading our servers but not our workstations.

    Here is a lit of new things you can expect once you install SP3.

    * "Black Hole" Router Detection
    * Network Access Protection
    * Descriptive Security Options User Interface
    * Enhanced Security for Administrators and Service policy entries
    * Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module
    * Windows Product Activation

    The deployment of SP3 will not change from how SP1 and SP2 have been deployed. It will be offered through Windows Updates and the Windows Download Center. The service pack will also be available to Volume License customers, TechNet and MSDN subscribers. Download size will be about 70MB through Windows Update and 580MD at the Download Center.

    Fundamentally, deploying Windows XP SP3 works the same as deploying SP1 and SP2 for Windows XP

    * SP3 is cumulative, so users can install SP3 on top of Windows XP SP1 or SP2.
    * Windows XP SP3 supports the same languages as Windows XP did in its initial release.
    * You can run the SP3 update package on any SKU of Windows XP SP1 or SP2. For example, you can run the SP3 update package on a computer running the Windows XP Media Center Edition with SP1.
    * Tools and guidance for system administrators have not fundamentally changed from Windows XP SP2. For comprehensive information, visit the Deploy Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Service Pack 2 Deployment Information sites on Microsoft TechNet.
    * You can deploy SP3 using Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003, Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007, or third-party solutions. The process has not fundamentally changed.

    Windows XP SP3 is for x86 editions of Windows XP only. The x64 editions of Windows XP were serviced by Windows Server 2003 SP2.
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