Re: Windows XP SP 3: The Long Journey

the software patch

"Ablang" <ron916@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
The Long Journey
Windows XP SP 3

Steve Hogan
Fact and Fable

Unlike a lot of sequels, Windows XP SP3 is better than the original.
Any day now the official release is due to hit the streets. Rumors of
10% performance increases crowd my Googled results. My mind travels to
increased scores for benchmarks. Microsoft's favored son is rising to
the position of SUPER HERO. "WINDOWS XP CONQUERS...." Oh, sorry, I'll
get back to earth now.

It may be interesting to note that the release of XP SP3 has been
predicted every January since 2006. I see many people predicting it
will be released the first quarter of 2008. Most recently Paul
Thurrott quotes Microsoft as saying they will be shipping XP SP3
during the second quarter of 2008.

Registered beta testers enjoyed its concealed inclusion on the Windows
Update site more than a month ago, and now with the widely available
Release Candidate, it looks like these labor pains are leading to the
real thing.

Let's quickly take a step back to see how this seven-year epic has
played out. XP was first released on October 25th of 2001, as a
successor to Windows Me and built on the same kernel as its business
predecessor Windows 2000. It boasted an improved graphical user
interface, better software management, and the first Windows use of
"product activation".

Service pack 1 for XP was released just short of a year later on
September 9th, 2002. That seems a reasonable time for the inclusion of
NET Framework, support for USB 2.0 and the expected fixes and security
patches. SP1a soon followed to remove the Java virtual machine. The
removal was because of a lawsuit with Sun Microsystems.

SP 2 saw the addition of the Windows Security Center, which controlled
the use of a new firewall, pop-up blockers, and Windows Automatic
Update. Blue tooth and WiFi support were also included as new
additions to the operating system. Production of this service pack
took major resources and time from Microsoft and required a good
amount of time for the users to install. As the years stacked up after
this major update, so did the more than 100 added patches and fixes.

Because it's been such a long time between service packs, you would
expect something major in content, if not at least large in size. The
10% performance increase we're hearing about has everyone jumping to
find this download and give it a try.

At 336MB, you can expect the installation to take between 15 and 30
minutes. Of course this depends completely on the speed of your
Internet connection, but not bad when compared to the succession of
painful reboots required updating prior to this. It's a cumulative
service pack so you can install on top of your existing installation
regardless of your current update situation. It is good for all
versions of Windows including XP Media Center. Here's the list
straight from the horse's mouth. You'll find this in Microsoft's
"Overview of Windows XP Service Pack 3". I'm not including any of the
previously released information, only the new items that have
previously been unavailable.
New and Enhanced Functionality


"Black Hole" Router Detection: Now, this detection is on by default
and is for detecting routers that are silently discarding packets.
This feature is also available in Vista

NAP Network Access Protection: Policy enforcement that protects
networks. It is now included Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and
Windows XP SP3. Available in RTM (release to manufacturers) version of


Descriptive Security Options User Interface: More descriptive text,
hopefully this will provide better explanations of options.

Enhanced Security for Admin. And Service policy entries: All new
policy is present by default and after authentication cannot be

Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module: A new Kernel module that
fixes a known problem with Microsoft's cryptographic application.

Windows Product Activation: Users can now complete the operating
system installation without providing a product key. The keyless
install option will allow installs of XP SP3 to proceed without using
a product key for 30 days. This option is also available for Vista SP1
will not update your Internet Explorer 6 to Internet Explorer 7. But
it will update either your IE 6 or your IE7. From what I've been able
to tell so far, the same is true of Windows Media Player. The update
does not install the current Media Player 11 as a part of the fixes or

Bottom Line

So where's the bang? I've installed SP3, now how do I verify that 10%
boost I've been reading about? Well, the fact of the matter is, the
reports are due to information from an anonymous blogger, or Craig
Barth of Devil Mountain Inc., depending on whose quote you're reading.
Devil Mountain Inc. ran benchmarks using their OfficeBench suite and a
laptop equipped with Office 2007. Their earlier comparison of Windows
Vista SP 1 and Windows XP SP3 received some credible criticism because
they benched using Office 2007 on Vista and Office 2003 on XP.
Microsoft of course, doubts whether the bench tests any real world
differences, and to be honest that's a valid point. Their later tests
comparing XP SP2 to XP SP3 are using the same Office Bench Suite. From
my tests, I'm seeing no measured difference in performance using my
favorite over clocking benchmarks. Those included PC Pitstop Full
Test, SuperPi, and two of the FutureMark benches.

This isn't a bad thing mind you. Microsoft never touted SP3 as a big
performance booster. It's only been the Devil Mountain blog and man's
never-ending hopes of improved performance, which sprouted this 10%
urban legend into existence. Windows SP3 installs easily and improves
the operating system. I've found no glitches so far with a weeks use
and that's the biggest bang we're going to get. Not bad really.

Bottom line? Get it, use it!