Microsoft has recently released the Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate. This is not a product grade release and is intended to allow system administrators and IT professionals to test features compatibility before installing the actual production release. Users who want to test the new service pack can download and install on their PCs to have a feel of it.
As Microsoft has noted, there isn’t much of features from the newer version of Microsoft operating systems like Windows Vista. However, there are some features included in the Windows XP SP3 release.
To download the Windows XP Service Pack 3, please click here
So, in a nut shell, Windows XP SP3 has
All the previous updates, hotfixes and Security updates included
Any previously released component updates are included
Few newer features like Network Access Protocol (NAP) are included
Summary of Previously released component updates
MMC3.0 – Microft Management Console version 3.0
MSXML6.0 - Conforms with XML1.0 XML Schema 1.0 W3C Recommendations & System.Xml2.0
Windows Installer 3.1
BITS 2.5 – Background Intelligent Transfer Service 2.5
IPSec Simple Policy Update for Windows 2003 & Windows XP
DIMS – Digital Identity Management Service
PNRP 2.1 – Peer name Resolution protocol to enable programs on Windows XP SP3 rto communicate with Windows Vista programs that use PNRP
WPA2 – WiFi Protected Access 2
Summary of New Enhanced Functionalities
“Black Hole” Router Detection – Improves Blackhole Router detection and is enabled by default
Network Access Protocol (NAP) – Windows Vista & Windows 2008 feature which is a Policy enforcement platform to protect network resources by enforcing System Health Requirements
Descriptive Security Options User Interface – Explains settings in Security Options Control Panel
Enhanced Security for Administrator & Service Policy Entries
Microsoft Kernel Module Crytographic Module
Windows Product Activitation – Allows Windows XP SP3 to compelte installation without having to enter a Product key. Product key is required only after the installation as a part of the Genuine Advantage.
If you need to uninstall the Windows XP SP3,
1. Click Start – All programs – Control panel
2. Open Add or Remove Programs
3. Select Windows XP Service Pack 3 (936929) and click Remove. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the uninstallation.