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The third service pack update for Windows XP has arrived today and is available for download on Microsoft’s website. Many corporations are still very much behind Windows XP as Vista has proven to be a big disappointment for the business user. This newest service pack provides those users (and admins) with performance updates, security updates and hotfixes that have been released since the Service Pack 2 in August 2004.

Some noteworthy features added from Vista have been included in this release as well. Including NAP, a policy enforcement platform for limiting network access to secure machines, “Black Hole” Router Detection, a cryptographic module for the kernel and a new Product Activation module allows you to install XP without a product key. Microsoft reports that over 1,000 fixes have been packed into in SP3 along with some performance improvements as well.

Microsoft is still holding firm to a support EOL for XP of June 30th which is quite a shame. Vista doesn’t seem to provide a call to action for businesses to spend the time and money to migrate their workstations to Vista from XP. A new version of Windows beyond Vista is already being discussed around the web and could see development and deployment considerably quicker than Vista came to market.


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