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back to article Microsoft spits out final XP service pack, beta version

Microsoft yesterday quietly dished out a beta version of its Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), but also continued to bang the less-than-convincing "Vista is better for you" drum. By the time a full version of the update arrives, expected in the first half of 2008, it will have been nearly four years since Windows XP SP2 was made …

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Jobs Horns

Yay

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

When those functions are "slowness" and "instability" i'd rather they didn't...

Were they clever they'd make XP as bad as Vista, so there was no benefit to not upgrading...

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Thankfully

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

Does this mean it works?

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Coat

Vista vs. XP

Microsoft said in a statement: "Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

What, you mean I won't get the "New and Improved" file copying, a.k.a. 4 hours to delete 1GB, User Access Control, a.k.a. "we'll secure you against yourself by forbidding you to do anything" and other nice touches?

Superb - I'll download it immediately.

Cloakroom's that way? Great, thanks.

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IT Angle

Well Thank Goodness!

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

It would probably bring significant bugs too if it did.

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Anonymous Coward

An example of Microsoft listening to customers perhaps?

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

Thank god for that!

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Thumb Up

What a relief...

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

Do we hear a chorus of "Thank <insert deity of choice>, for that"?

Dan

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Thumb Up

encouraging quote...

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

Well praise be to his noodly self, seeing as though Vista's (dis)functionality is the reason people are avoiding it like the plague, that's surely another reason to stick with XP?

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Black Helicopters

Cynical thought

Suppose SP3 just happened to irretrievably break some parts of some peoples' XP. Incentive enough to 'upgrade' to Vista?

Conspiracy theories are fun (and sometimes hard to easily dismiss).

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Silver badge

Vista better for you??

Reading a magazine about the initial reports on XP SP3, apparently it is running about 15% better than XP SP2. So, XP is currently quicker than Vista and the SP3 release will widen that gap even further.

Any surprise that there's rumours that the SP3 release will occur after Vista SP1 to get as many people to make the move as possible?...

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Anonymous Coward

nice of them to promise no Vista infection

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

Do they realise that's a GOOD thing?

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Gates Horns

Hooray

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

I'm sold. You can keep Vista, M$

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"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

Thank heavens for that! Do I want some airy-fairy rotating view of the different windows open? No! Do I want my OS to run as if through treacle on even a highly specced machine? No!

As an aside, do I want to have to use Vista at work - no!

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I can't help but be thankful that...

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

That's a load off my mind. I was worried that Microsoft might want to replicate the look and feel of Vista on my XP.

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What do they expect?

Vista add nothing, and takes away a lot. Even the most powerful of today's computers perform badly on vista compared to xp. Directx 10 adds oh slower games that don't look any different than they do on directx 9. GDI components render upto 3 times slower on vista than they do on XP (which is a major issue for a lot of the CAD software I have to use). Copying files on Vista is just plain ouch.

Im sitting here with a load of office pc's and I cant find one good reason to slap vista on them. Nothing vista brings gives any benefit for the work they do, and in fact will hinder a lot of the tasks they are used for.

My home machines are gaming pc's and I dual boot vista and xp but I find that I don't use vista at all because when I want to game I just play the faster operating system that does everything I want with a lot more efficiency.

I know the vista vs xp subject has been done to death but I'm not seeing a single good reason to switch. Microsoft really has gotten out of touch with what users want and expect and vista just doesn't deliver. The rates its going its going to rank up there with MS BOB and Windows ME.

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Happy

Infinite number of tech monkeys...

... + infinite number of keyboards = 9 x same punchline.

Well it was obvious, MS need a "foot in mouth" department to go over press-releases, heh heh heh

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Just In Time For The Holidays

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP." That's the best news I've heard out of Redmond in quite some time.

Yes, Virginia, there [b]IS[\b] a Santa Claus!

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Stop

Installed Vista once just to have a look...

and it lasted a whole 38 minutes before I nuked it and put XP back on to play games.

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

The only reason I still have a xp setup is because I cannot be bothered to setup wow under wine or other windows emulators...

I think that Microsoft has just about hit their use by date.

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Regarding Vista:

When did Windows become a turn based game?

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Jobs Horns

Apple

On various "Apple are" topics, the old "paid Microsoft lackeys" was brought up. So, in order to obtain balance.

You are just a bunch of anti-Microsoft schills paid by Apple to bad mouth Microsoft.

The Register is obvious in the hands of the devil Jobs, and is taking bribes to run anti MS storys.

I have an XP machine and it never crashes or gets viruses or.... etc, etc, etc.

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@ our friends in Redmond

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

You say that like it is a BAD thing.

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Jobs Horns

@Cynical thought

XP used to run just fine with 256MB RAM, now 512MB is barely enough. I do wonder sometimes if the updates MS releases slow your machine to a crawl to make you go out and buy a new one. although some of the blame for this is the bloated "Internet security" suites that in my view are unnecessary for most users behind a decent router.

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Pirate

Just wondering...

Maybe I've lived too long in the District of Confusion but:

"does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista"

seems to beg the question of what ARE the "insignificant portions of Windows Vista" that this update introduces?

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Gates Horns

Praise Allah

In case it wasn't stated often enoiugh let me add my voice to the :

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

PRAISE BE TO ALLAH !

I fully endorse this sentiment even though I'm officially an infidel according to

the 'true believers'.

Vista, you will not be missed. Bon Voyage. May your demise be an early one.

May your mustache rot and fall off.

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Alert

Read between the lines...

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

Actually, this kind of scares me. With all of the double-speak of legal mumbo, the word "significant" makes me twitch. Sure, they don't bring "significant" portions, but they may still try and squeeze SOME aspects of Vista into SP3. I fear. I think I'll wait for the user reviews before I install it myself.

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Lol at punchlines

I gather we're all HAPPY that XP is not as crap as Vista?

Oh and the version we've seen is a release candidate, so a step past a beta afaik.

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Rik
Silver badge
Coat

@I have an XP machine and it never crashes or gets viruses or.... etc, etc, etc.

It's switched off and disconnected, sitting in the back of your shed supporting whatever is piled on top of it?

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Ash

DX10

I pray SP3 gives DX10 support.

If not, i'll just install Cedega on Ubuntu once they have their DX10 compatible rendering engine running and sod Microsoft altogether.

The horse is dead; you may as well give us the meat to chew on instead of locking it up in a skip.

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Anonymous Coward

Amusing

Love the comments. This re-occuring theme of hate for Vista. Granted I wouldn't touch Vista if you paid me, as i have before, and the experience has tainted me to labeling it WinME V2. XP will stay on my PC till my computer no longer will run.

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Boffin

WinXP SP3 ≠ WinVista

Like that "random number generator Microsoft is bundling with (Fistula) SP1 with the backdoor exploitable by the National Security Agency?

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/12/dual_ec_drbg_ad.html

Or more "Digital Consumer Enablement?"

Actually, this is completely backwards. It should be

Review: Windows XP

http://dotnet.org.za/codingsanity/archive/2007/12/14/review-windows-xp.aspx

"I have finally decided to take the plunge. Last night I upgraded my Vista desktop machine to Windows XP, and this afternoon I will be doing the same to my laptop..."

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Happy too

Glad the vista stuff isn't being sneaked in;

I've happily avoided the beast so far - XP in work and Ubuntu at home - was looking at a new laptop the other day - had 2 gig of memory. With nothing running other than the o/s and it's various sub processes 31% of the memory was being used. That's over 600meg! What the hell is it doing??

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I love these comments on Vista news

I'm sitting in a office with 300 machines running Vista Enterprise - and the feedback from users and the helpdesk hasn't been better. We have a 28% reduction in calls to the helpdesk (which is pretty high when you think we've rolled out a new desktop OS).

I do find it funny when people complain about the speed of VIsta. My Win98 VM runs so much faster than Vista too. Then again it's also designed for hardware that is nearly a decade old.

Speed, performance, "DRM", stability hasn't been an issue for us so far. The GDI rendering is fair game, though DX10 seems pretty good and snappy. File copying is only in a few circumstances I believe - can't say I've had that issue, although I acknowledge it exists.

Interesting enough, 200 of the machines we have are used by developers and technical projects managers. Most are MCAD or at least MCP, most with a good 8 years + in IT. Yet no complaints....

Then again the people here aren't hell bent on one OS over another - just use the one that works.

Whilst we don't exactly have the cutting edge technology, we do have a 3 year hardware life cycle policy. Oldest machines have 1Gb RAM, integrated graphics chip and P4 2.8Ghz with HyperThreading. That really is 3 year old equipment - but even aero runs fine on it.

And the performance on my Dual Core 2 / 2Gb / Radeon desktop is fine. No difference to XP performance.

In terms of new features, to be honest, there's not many for home users other than the GUI (not just aero) and security. Instant search is pretty cool though, so is the parental controls. And Media Centre is just awesome.

For businesses then there's a mound of reasons to upgrade. Ranging from the huge sum of GPO's that Vista has, permissions for mobile users have been revamped, instant search, IE7+ security model is superb, pre-approved ActiveX controls, IIS7 which completely rocks, BitLocker which gets rid of 3rd party apps, UAC which brings Windows in line with *nix, image and modular based deployments without 3rd party tools, ReadyBoost, Mobility Centre (which again, our mobile users love), Mobile Device Centre which means no more shitty ActiveSync problems, network 'location' checking to apply the right level of security, the superb new firewall which knocks the socks off XP SP2, more intuitive GUI, improved event viewer, troubleshooting and performance monitoring tools, multiple local sessions running at the same time on a domain network, new backup application, "Previous Versions" on the local system etc....

You seriously want more reasons to upgrade? What did you want for £100?!

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Silver badge

What's XP?

I need a Windows 2000 SP5. This morning I installed W2K with SP4 then had to wait a few hours before the 67 critical updates were installed. Then wait a bit more because it seems that some of the critical updates needed critical updates. It must have taken 7 reboots. Fortunately this will be the last time as I installed it under VMware and will keep that installation to clone virgin test machines. Not sure if I'm really allowed to do that but what the hell I've had enough of having to reinstall windows.

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ermm...

"Were they clever they'd make XP as bad as Vista, so there was no benefit to not upgrading..."

Who say's it's not the first step towards doing this? Like, adding a call-home feature to muck up XP SP3 when the hit the button?

I've seen MS do so many lame things, the above would not surprise me.

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Heart

Ho hum

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

Well, everybody else was posting that, I just thought I'd join in.

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Really cynical thought

Having compared my 18 month old laptop to my wife's six-month old laptop, which are differentiated almost solely by O/S (Vista vs. XP), to the Win2K box I'm still stuck with at work, I've come to the following conclusion: MS knows Vista is terrible. They are simply trying to make XP look good by comparison, so we'll finally upgrade our reliable, relatively secure and easy to use Win2K boxes.

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Stop

You just can't please some people...

I just don't get what the problem is. MS got slated for years because XP was/is insecure. They rectify that in a new release, but that's somehow a bad thing. Sure UAC asks you to confirm certain things now and again, that's the security you cried for. If I put an extra lock on my front door, it's going to take me marginally longer to get it open than before.

I have been running Vista since release pretty much, and have not noticed any significant stability issues, all of my apps now work fine, but if they didn't, I'd expect the app maker to change them to support the new OS, not the other way round.

Before you start, I'm not some kind of Vista fanboy, I'm a Mac one, and have to say that Leopard doesn't run as well as tiger, crashes more often and the odd app doesn't work 100%. But that seems to be overlooked on Macs as they are the underdog.

I worked for MS in the early XP days, and was party to an awful lot of the activation debacle. I was hearing all the same stuff I'm reading here on a daily basis. People behaving like I had suggested their mother was a prostitute, just because someone had dared to change something. Go install 98, or find a machine at work still running NT 4 and tell me that wasn't a good and (with hiundsight) much needed change, I'm sure that a time will come when exactly the same happens when Vista is replaced, but If I have my way, we'll all be using an open source OS running on Mac hardware by then.

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Bronze badge
Happy

Anyone remember Windows ME?

Looks like we're unanimous - Vista is the new ME then.

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DX10 in XP NEVER gonna happen

@ Ash you wont see DX10 in xp, directx10 relies heavily on the WDDM of vista, something that cant be changed on XP without some very major code changes. MS wont put the work in to code such a thing as directx10 is just about the only reason people will switch.

What I would ask you is why do you want to see direct10? What have you seen that looks/plays/feels better in directx10 compared to 9? Myself I run a Q6600 @ 3.8Ghz per core with 4Gb ram and 2x8800 GTX in sli. But not one game that does dx10 that I've tried has looked better, performed better, felt better etc. Each time I just reboot boot to XP x64 and play and and suffer no negative loss that I can detect.

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So Vista is ok then eh?

Hmm...

I installed Vista Business 32bit on my 6 month old dual core PC at home... and it promptly blue screened following installation. I've been running XP happily with no hint of a blue screen for as long as I can remember - so why Vista should bring back the instabilities that I last saw in Windows 2000\NT4 is beyond me. This is progress?

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Anonymous Coward

Functionality or Service, Pack

All joking about not bringing Vista's flaws to XP aside, service packs aren't supposed to add "significant ... functionality" anyway. I'd be happy with a roll-up of the 80-plus post-SP2 fixes in one file that I could download and keep somewhere instead of having to wait through Microsoft Update for them any time I have to format and reinstall to clean up an XP installation.

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You'll have to upgrade sooner or later.

When Microsoft discontinues support for XP I have a nagging suspicion that they'll discontinue product activation. You'll be able to continue using XP but come reinstall time, guess what you'll have to install?

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Linux

sO WHAT!

iv been using Ubunto linux for to months now and theirs no way that im going back to VISTHELL

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Joke

@AC

Doesn't Ubunt*u* come with a spelling/grammer checker?

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Si
Gates Horns

To be fair to Vista

I remember when XP first came out there were lots of broken applications, dodgy driver support and at the time it was a real resource hog compared to the extremely nippy Win98 and didn't really offer much over Win2K beyond booting more quickly.

So I do wonder if maybe in 3 years time or so we'll all be quite happy with Vista and have forgotten all the problems at the moment. I think the answer could be yes, were it not for the DRM infections which cause file copies/deletions to take forever etc. I do wonder if that is really a step too far and it will push more and more people to XP/OSX/Linux.

It's a bit like the PS3 really, MS have been the market leader for so long, it's hard to tell if the momentum of being the market leader means Vista will succeed despite being crap or if this really is the turning point, especially with so many apps now becoming web based making the OS less and less pivotal.

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Flame

Hardware is catching up tho'

I've seen a few Vista laptops and desktops since its release, most of which were slow performers to the point that they were almost unusable. Generally they had been sold with 512Mb ram, some sort of dual core processor and inbuilt graphics. Minimum spec, not nice, not clever, not suited to Vista.

Anyway, I recently saw a Vista PC with a E6750 processor, 2GB ram and a NVidia 8600GT 512Mb. Using the onboard graphics, the performance was ok but not good with games, adding the the 8600GT improved performance significantly to make it very usable. The performance index jumped from 3.6 to 5.6 on the Vista performance-o-meter.

Vista needs loads of memory, at decent processor and motherboard, a decent Graphics card and fast disk access, all of these together.

XP needs lower specced hardware to give a comparable performance at a lower cost, theres the rub! As I see it, there are a lot of functioning computers out there that will not run well with Vista even with some changes to the hardware, XP can work well on these machines in most cases or just by adding more memory. I'm speaking about Windows but Linux is another option.

I guess that a year (Two?) down the line, fewer people will complain much about Vista performance as they will be running it on better hardware which will by then be cheaper.

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I think I will wait a while.

Until I install service pack 2.

I want to make certain that the Good People At Micro$oft have got it right.

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They'll have to pull XP from my cold, dead hands

XP does everything I need and it is compatible with all my software that I use for my job and my side company. Why in the world would I want Vista? There are so many bugs in it and with all the "security" I could never get anything done. Not to mention half my software did not work (was told to "update" my software to the tune of about US$1000) and devices did not work (aka "no drivers available" or "the driver will be released in two months").

"Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

If it did, I would have to go to Linux for my equipment. I have about as much chance of finding drivers there as in Vista. In fact, I would take Linux over Vista, no problem!!

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Happy

re; You'll have to upgrade sooner or later.

"When Microsoft discontinues support for XP I have a nagging suspicion that they'll discontinue product activation. You'll be able to continue using XP but come reinstall time, guess what you'll have to install?"

A cracked version of xp? because that will be the option. you use your orginal install disc and key. then you crack the activation, which has been available since the beginning of xp's life-cycle.

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Linux

Just bought a new laptop

Just bought a new laptop last week. It's a Centrino Dual Core with 2 GB RAM. The OS had been "downgraded" to XP with Vista Basic available for activation in a hidden partition.

I booted it with my Fedora 8 DVD and eliminated all existing partitions, formatted the HD to ext3 and 20 minutes later it was running beautifully. Never had a chance to see what XP or Vista would do.

The last version of MSWindows I tried to run was Win98, but it had issues with my hardware and kept blue screening and freezing. RedHat 6.2 fixed those problems and since then computing has been a breeze.

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