Thanks Mike for relaying this exclusive from Paul Thurrotts Wininformant. Microsoft has delayed the third service pack for Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (SP3) for an indefinite period of time, according to internal documents I viewed over the weekend. Win2K was originally due July 17, but Microsoft recently discovered several major bugs in its Microsoft Installer (MSI) 2.0 code, which was to have been bundled with the update. So now the company will remove MS 2.0 from SP3 and include the older version, MSI 1.1, instead, unless feedback from its beta testers and partners indicates that MSI 2.0 must be included. This indecision, obviously, will adversely affect the release schedule for SP3.
"We are still facing MSI 2.0 related issues," an email mailed to the Windows development team reads. "[But] before we move ahead with a retraction plan, we want to make sure that we are doing the right thing for our customers ... we do not want to make deployment impossible for some of our partners, and we do not want to break our customer's applications ... We are working hard to make the right decision."
While the MSI mess is resolved, Microsoft is indefinitely delaying the SP3 release. "This will have a bad hit to [the] Win2K SP3 schedule," the email reads. "[So] we will not be able to release an escrow build today [which would have previously been considered a release candidate]. We will roll out a new schedule early [this] week." I have yet to hear where the new schedule places the final SP3 release, but build 3.149, which was released last week, is not the final build. I'll have more information about the Win2K SP3 release as it becomes available.
News source: Wininformant
Neowin Note: The current build available to testers is Build 3.140 and at the time of posting neither BetaPlace or the Windows 2000 SP3 Beta Newsgroups have confirmed the above statement.