Now that Windows Vista service pack 1 has been released, all eyes have shifted to Microsoft's plans for Windows XP service pack 3, the final package of updates for the trusty OS. And, according to at least one source, Microsoft will roll out XP SP3 next Monday. As of Wednesday afternoon Pacific time, the BitTorrent search engine Mininova listed a 568.73 MB Windows XP Professional SP3 5503 file available for download. The file, which had 112 seeds and 417 leeches, had been downloaded 2083 times since it was posted Tuesday, according to the listing.
According to the file description notes, Microsoft will release the final version of XP SP3 on March 24, but the 5503 test build passes all Windows Genuine Advantage checks and is able to download Windows updates that previous XP SP3 builds weren't able to, which suggests that it could, in fact, be the final RTM build. When Microsoft released Vista SP1 in February, the final RTM code was identical to the Vista SP1 Release Candidate (RC) 1 Refresh 2 test build that was released to a group of 15,000 testers two weeks earlier.
A Microsoft spokesperson, perhaps weary from the months-long barrage of Vista SP1 related inquiries, said the final version of XP SP3 is still on target to be released the first half of calendar year 2008, and the XP SP3 5503 build was a minor interim build released to address one specific issue for a subset of private beta testers.
News Source: CRN