Today I installed a machine with Windows XP and SP2 integrated. After several visits to Windows Update and a number of restarts later I could count no less than 109 updates all together weighing in at around 245 megabytes. Pretty amazing that there has been more than three years since Microsoft released Service Pack 2, and who knows when Service Pack 3 will be released. First half of 2008 is the expected release date but my guess it will be released slightly after the release of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 in the March timeframe.
Windows XP with Service Pack 2 has been very stable for a long time so do we really need a Service Pack 3? Even though SP3 contain around 1000 bug fixes it does not contain any bug fixes that I’m affected by and probably not most of you guys. Instead SP3 will provide updates on technologies such as Windows Installer, remote desktop client, and other base features of Windows also providing support for new features like Network Access Protection. An interesting thing about SP3 is that if you integrate it into an existing Windows XP CD you will be able to install it without providing a product key, just like Windows Vista!