Windows XP service pack 3 delayed until after Windows Vista

We all know that Microsoft will have to pull out all the stops if they are going to meet their target of shipping the much hyped and severely delayed Windows Vista this calendar year. Well, it seems that desire to get a new version of Windows out is at the expense of existing Windows XP customers and Windows XP service pack 3 will not be here until late 2007 – that’s a full 3 years after service pack 2 was released.

As reported by Paul Thurrott in his Windows IT Pro magazine network WinInfo Daily Update, Microsoft’s Windows service pack roadmap states that service pack 3 for Windows XP Home/Professional Editions is currently planned for the second half of 2007 (preliminary date). Service pack 2 for Windows Server 2003 is still shown for the second half of this year (maybe Microsoft views server customers as more critical to it’s continued growth?).

That means that, based on the current published schedules (which I will concede are not always the most reliable source of information), Windows Vista will be here before the next Windows XP service pack! I know that Microsoft is disappointed at Windows XP service pack 2 adoption rates but for those of us who did get with the program, what happened to regular service pack releases? The fully-patched Windows XP machine on which I’m writing this post already has no less than 50 post-SP2 hotfixes, updates and security updates for Windows XP installed so how many more do I have to install before they get rolled up into a service pack?!!

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