On Again, Off Again: XP SP3 Back On

By Stuart J. Johnston | Posted May 07, 2008

A week after Microsoft reneged on publicly releasing Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) due to compatibility issues with one of the company's small and medium business products, the update for XP is finally available to the public at large.

Microsoft was set to broadly release XP SP3 via its public download sites last week when the conflict between the two pieces of software was identified.

"Today, Microsoft released Windows XP SP3 to Windows Update and Microsoft Download Center ... [and] is also resuming automatic distribution of Windows Vista SP1," a company spokesperson said in an e-mail. Vista SP1 had experienced the same clash with Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS).

Although the number of systems affected by the clash between Dynamics RMS and the two service packs is small, Microsoft decided last week to suspend public distribution of XP SP3 and automatic downloads of Vista SP1.

"Following last week’s discovery of a compatibility issue between both Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP1 and Microsoft Dynamics RMS, Microsoft created and deployed a filter on Windows Update that will not offer either service pack to Microsoft Dynamics RMS customers," the spokesperson's email continued.

Meanwhile, the company's developers are shooting to have a fix for the clashes out by month's end, and until then the company is urging anyone with RMS to hold off manually downloading either service pack.

Both XP SP3 and Vista SP1 have been widely anticipated – XP SP3 no less than Vista SP1. The first Vista service pack originally began shipping in early February and was already being publicly distributed through automatic updates when it was pulled last week.

Despite the fact that XP, which was first released in 2001, is getting creaky in the joints and lacks Vista's flashy user interface and graphics features, SP3 is the final service pack planned for XP and, as such, it has been hotly awaited by a surprisingly large flock of faithful users.

Some customers have even gone so far as to buy new PCs that are licensed for Vista and then exercise so-called downgrade rights to substitute the older operating system – despite the fact that it can cost them extra to go that route.

You can find XP SP3 here.

Adapted from Internetnews.com.

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