Windows XP SP3 Released to Manufacturing

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft released to manufacturers (RTM) the final code for Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3). The public version will be available for download from Microsoft on April 29, 2008. CNET reported that the upgrade will be effortless for most Windows XP users. Windows XP SP3 includes functionality previously released as updates.

Other Windows XP SP3 updates relevant to home users include:

  • Support for WPA2, the latest standards-based wireless security solution derived from the IEEE 802.11i standard.
  • Improvements to black-hole router detection (detecting routers that are silently discarding packets). Windows XP SP3 turns this protection on by default.
  • BITS 2.5, which is required by Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 and Windows Live OneCare.
  • Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP), which allows Windows XP applications to communicate with Windows Vista programs that use PNRP.
  • Windows Installer 3.1, which contains new and enhanced functionality and addresses some issues that Microsoft found in Windows Installer 3.0.
  • Digital Identity Management Service (DIMS), which allows users who log on to any domain-joined computer to silently access all of their certificates and private keys for applications and services.
  • MMC 3.0, which is a framework that provides common navigation, menus, toolbars, and workflow across diverse tools.
  • MSXML6, which provides better reliability, security, and conformance with the XML 1.0 and XML Schema 1.0 W3C Recommendations as well as System.Xml 2.0.
  • IPsec filter creation and maintenance. XP SP3 reduces the number of filters that are required for a server and domain isolation deployment. Also, the Simple Policy Update removes the requirement for explicit network infrastructure permit filters and introduces enhanced fallback to clear behavior.
  • The Security Options control panel includes more descriptive text to explain settings and prevent incorrect settings configuration.
  • Network Access Protection (NAP), is a policy enforcement platform built into Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows XP SP3 to better protect network assets by enforcing compliance with system health requirements.

More information about Windows XP SP3 can be found from Microsoft and Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows.

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