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Windows XP Service Pack 3 Leaked Details!
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Thu Nov 29, 2007 5:27 pm Reply and quote this post
Not only is Windows XP Service Pack 3 alive and kicking, but Microsoft also managed to leak details about what the refresh will contain. The Redmond Company's policy when it comes down to future releases of the  
Windows platform is to gag all details. Windows  XP SP3 is old news for Microsoft. And with the general
availability of Windows Vista it was pushed to the background. But in all fairness, Microsoft never confirmed the cancellation of the third service pack for Windows XP. The company only scrapped it out of sight and under the rug with repeated delays.

The availability date for the first beta of Windows Vista SP1 was revealed by a U.S. Justice Department legal filing. Microsoft plans to deliver Vista SP1 beta by the end of 2007, but the date is of course nothing more than an estimation. By comparison, SP3 for Windows XP is currently planned for the first half of 2008. But Microsoft initially planned to deliver the third service pack for Windows XP in 2006, only to postpone the release to 2007 and then again to 2008.

Windows XP SP3, despite its collection of delays, will make it to the market, and Microsoft plans in integrate changes to Internet Explorer and to Windows Media Player into the refresh. "Microsoft has agreed to make changes to Windows XP, two Middleware Products, and Windows Live Messenger. The Windows Live Messenger changes have been delivered in the Windows Live Messenger 8.5 beta and will be included in the public release. Changes for Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player will be made available to users in August 2007 and Microsoft is discussing with the TC the delivery mechanism for those changes. The Windows XP changes will be incorporated into Service Pack 3 for Windows XP," revealed the U.S. Justice department in its filing.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:06 pm Reply and quote this post
After pronouncing Windows Vista SP1 a "performance dud" two weeks ago, Devil Mountain Software, a Florida-based software development firm, reported that an upcoming update for Windows XP will offer substantial performance gains.

Running an Office productivity test suite on a preview version of Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, Devil Mountain discovered a 10 percent performance boost over the current version of Windows XP, the company reported on its blog.

The news comes as a "nice bonus," the research staff said on the blog, because SP3 was expected mainly to deliver bug fixes and consolidate various patches. "In fact, XP SP3 is shaping up to be a must-have update for the majority of users who are still running Redmond's not-so-latest-and-greatest desktop OS," the company said.

Vista SP1 'No Panacea'

These results run in stark contrast to tests conducted on Vista SP1. On November 18, Devil Mountain Software reported that performance gains under Vista SP1 were negligible and that Vista continues to be slower than XP.

"The hoped-for performance fixes that Microsoft has been hinting at never materialized," the testers reported. "Vista + SP1 is no faster" than out-of-the-box Vista, they said.

"If you've been disappointed with the performance of Windows Vista to date, get used to it. SP1 is simply not the panacea that many predicted. In the end, it's Vista's architecture -- not a lack of tuning or bug fixes -- that makes it perform so poorly on systems that were 'barn-burners' under Windows XP," the research staff said.

In comparable tests of Office tasks, Vista and Vista plus SP1 took approximately 90 seconds to complete the suite, while XP took only about 40 seconds and XP plus SP3 ran about four seconds more quickly than that.

For Office testing, the researchers ran Windows through a scripted set of productivity tasks, including creating a compound document and supporting workbooks and presentations materials. For multitasking, they generated a multiprocess workload scenario involving a client-server database and streaming media tasks.

Vista's Biggest Competitor?

In mid-November, Forrester Research concluded a survey of 600 American and European enterprises and concluded that while a third of them said they would start Vista deployments by the end of 2008, an overwhelming majority have standardized on XP.

"Vista's biggest competition isn't Apple or Novell or Red Hat; it's Microsoft itself, it's XP," Benjamin Gray, an analyst at Forrester Research, said about that survey. With SP3 due for release in the first quarter of 2008, many enterprises are interested in extending the lifecycle of XP for quite a bit longer before taking the plunge into Vista.

The latest finding that SP3 will deliver substantial performance gains makes it all the more likely that enterprises will stick with XP for as long as possible.

Forrester found that 84 percent of companies with more than 1,000 employees now run XP, compared to 67 percent a year ago. With so much standardization on XP, Microsoft might have to extend support for the old OS beyond April 2009, when it's supposed to expire.

While 32 percent of enterprises said they would deploy Vista in 2008, 38 percent said they had no plans to use Vista and 14 percent said they didn't know what they would do.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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