Last week Microsoft pushed out Release Candidate 2 for Windows XP SP3. At the time the only way to download it was using Windows Update, and I’m not sure about you but I hate downloading Service Packs over Windows Update. It seems like the download goes a lot slower, and it’s a lot of wasted bandwidth if you have more than one computer that it needs to be installed on.

Have no fear because Microsoft is here… um, yeah. At any rate they’ve now released XP SP3 (RC2) as a standalone download in English, German, and Japanese. Here are the direct download links along with their corresponding download size:

Just remember that you’ll need to uninstall any previous versions of XP SP3 before proceeding with the newest Release Candidate. Similarly you’ll need to uninstall RC2 before you’ll be able to install the final version whenever Microsoft decides to release it. It’s a hassle, I know, but this is a good cure if you’re starting to get a nervous twitch from not running enough pre-release software. It happens to the best of us.