Hi All,

Today Microsoft released Windows XP SP3 to the web. It is available right now for download via:

· Microsoft Download Center: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=5b33b5a8-5e76-401f-be08-1e1555d4f3d4&DisplayLang=en or

· The Microsoft Update Catalog: http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/search.aspx?q=windows%20xp%20sp3

Background Release timelines:

Over the last few weeks, various information has been released regarding Windows XP SP3. The purpose of this posting is to provide you all with the latest information and resources regarding Windows XP SP3. My goal is to provide you with accurate and reliable up-to-date information, as well as links to the official web sites that provide the latest updates as they become available.

Windows XP SP3 was Released To Manufacturing (RTM) on April 21st (US Time) with the release to customers and OEMs via the various channels forthcoming. Following the RTM of SP3, some compatibility issues were discovered between Windows XP SP3 and Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS). For this reason, the release of SP3 to the Web was delayed. However, it was available via MSDN and Technet subscription channels. Now it is available on all the usual channels. Microsoft expects to begin automatically distributing Windows XP SP3 via Windows Update in early summer - US Time.

Overview of SP3:

Windows XP SP3  includes all previously released updates for Windows XP, including security updates, out-of-band releases, and hotfixes.  It contains a small number of new updates, that can help make it easier for Windows XP customers to be sure their system is up-to-date, but should not significantly change their Windows XP experience.  Enhancements  to Windows  XP SP3 (such as, for example, NAP) will make it easier for corporate customers to co-manage both operating systems within their corporate environments, as customers are gradually moving to Windows Vista via hardware refresh. A blocker tool is available, which companies can use to prevent unintended installations of Windows XP SP3 among their managed PCs, links to the tool and relevant TechNet article can be found in the resources below.

Windows XP SP3 resources and guidance can be found at the following locations:

· Windows XP SP3 Overview Whitepaper: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=68C48DAD-BC34-40BE-8D85-6BB4F56F5110&displaylang=en

· Windows XP SP3 Technet landing page: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsxp/0a5b9b10-17e3-40d9-8d3c-0077c953a761.aspx

· Technet Forums for questions, feedback, bug reports: http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=2010&SiteID=17

· Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit (to temporarily block updates via Windows Update): http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=d7c9a07a-5267-4bd6-87d0-e2a72099edb7&DisplayLang=en and a Blocker Tool Kit TechNet article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsvista/bb927794.aspx

· Windows XP SP3 Release Notes: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=60807c3a-8969-4ddf-beb2-8bfac9ed416b&DisplayLang=en

· KB Article 946480 - List of fixes that are included in Windows XP Service Pack 3: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/946480

· Blog on SP3 from the Windows Performance Team: http://blogs.technet.com/askperf/archive/2008/04/29/windows-xp-service-pack-3-rtm-rtw.aspx

Windows XP SP3  - Known Issues:

Please Review the release notes for the latest known issues: http://download.microsoft.com/download/c/d/8/cd8cc719-7d5a-40d3-a802-e4057aa8c631/relnotes.htm

Support Lifecycle Information:

As with all releases of new Service Packs, the release of Windows XP SP3 has triggered the timeline for expiry of support for Windows XP SP2, which is 24 months following the release of SP3, in accordance with the lifecycle policy. This means that to remain supported, customers should plan to have upgraded their systems to Windows XP SP3, or migrated to Vista SP1, by July 13th, 2010. This date is officially published and updated the Microsoft Lifecycle page http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?p1=6794.

Nick.