Last year when Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2, Jane Maliouta announced that consumers using Windows XP SP3 would be locked-in with the IE8 if they had installed the IE8 beta prior to upgrading to SP3. Microsoft again yesterday issued that same warning to it's consumers. If you are still one of the millions of users on Windows XP with SP3 installed, Microsoft has provided crucial steps to follow if you're ready to upgrade to IE8 RC1. You can obtain IE8 RC1 from the links on this page.
To see if you're one of the people who will have IE8 locked in, follow these steps.
Is your computer running Windows XP SP3?
Click on the Start Menu and then right click on My Computer and then click Properties
On the General Tab under System it'll say Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3
Is the Remove option for IE8 Beta grayed out?
From the Start menu, open Control Panel and click Add or Remove Programs
Select Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta and you are unable to click on the Remove button.
With that in mind, Jane Maliouta encourages users to follow some simple steps prior to installing IE8 RC1. First you need to uninstall Windows XP SP3, by going to Add/Remove Programs and selecting Windows XP SP3. That should take about 10-15 minutes to complete, after that reboot your machine. Then follow the same steps and uninstall Internet Explorer 8 Beta.
After that do a Windows Update and install Windows XP SP3 and Internet Explorer 8 RC1.