Windows XP SP3Back in April Paul Thurrott started to think that Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) was a dead dream. He talked about the numerous delays it has suffered, and the lack of motivation Microsoft had to ship another Service Pack due to the release of Vista:

And while I’m ranting a bit, let’s dredge up Windows XP Service Pack 3, which was delayed from 2005 to 2006 to 2007 and now to 2008. If you were looking for any glimpse into the mind of Microsoft, this is it: The company has completely abandoned Windows XP, and it has absolutely no plans to ever ship an XP SP3.

But the reality is, Microsoft is looking ahead to new revenue and not behind to money that’s already in the bank.

According to the Windows Service Pack Road Map SP3 is still scheduled for the first half of 2008, but that date is still considered to be tentative. Now there is speculation that XP SP3 could still be released this year (2007) because of a recent press release by Microsoft that says:

Microsoft is announcing that Windows Vista supports this protocol today and Windows Server 2008 and Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) will support it as well later this year. The Juniper Networks UAC solution is expected to support the new TNC standard in the first half of 2008.

Then later in the press release they make another mention of SP3:

Simplified deployment: Customers running Windows Vista or Windows XP SP3 will be able to easily realize the benefits of a Juniper UAC deployment without requiring the need to deploy additional client software.

In August it will have been three years since Windows XP SP2 shipped, so there is no doubt that SP3 is long overdue. It’s doubtful that any new features will sneak into the service pack since Vista is already available for consumers to purchase, but it should at least address common issues that XP users incur.

Looks like this was just a mistake on Microsoft’s behalf. Oh well, back to 2008 it is.