Elizabeth Montalbano, IDG News Service
Though Microsoft still won't confirm that it will release a third
service pack for its Windows XP operating system, a preview version of
the software update has been made available on the Web.
An "unofficial" preview pack of Windows XP Service Pack 3 is available
at The Hotfix, a software download site and discussion forum that
focuses on patches and software updates.
Info Avaiable, but Hidden
Ethan Allen, creator and administrator of The Hotfix, said Wednesday
that he assembled the preview pack from software updates sent by an
internal Microsoft source that are expected to be released in SP3.
The updates include Windows log-on improvements and features that fix
current problems with connecting Windows XP computers to various
networks, according to the SP3 forum on the site.
Allen, a Microsoft beta tester who previously worked on a contract
basis for the Redmond, Washington-based software company, updates the
list of technologies for Windows XP SP3 daily based on information
found on Microsoft's Web site.
"Microsoft makes it freely available about what's going to be in the
next hot fixes, but they hide it," Allen said. He said he found
information on updates that will be made available in Windows XP SP3
by using keywords contained in articles on Microsoft's Web site. This
is the same way he discovered the technologies that were released in
Windows XP SP2. He posted those updates on a Web site before that
service pack was released in August 2004.
Allen now works in software assurance for a Bellevue, Washington-based
high-tech company that he declined to name. He said Microsoft has not
contacted him about The Hotfix, which he launched in July.
Allen's site has also published a transcript of a chat discussion in
which Microsoft engineers fielded questions from beta testers about
whether Internet Explorer 7 will be included in SP3. According to the
transcript, Anurag Jain, a program manager on the Internet Explorer
team, said that the service pack won't include IE 7 but will "support"
it. Instead, Internet Explorer 6 will be a part of Windows XP SP3.
SP3 or No SP3?
Microsoft provides service packs to add what the company and its users
think are important updates to the current releases of its software.
For example, Windows XP SP2, which significantly updated Windows XP,
included software intended to make the OS more secure.
Reports published last week quoted Microsoft France's technical and
security director Bernard Ourghanlian as saying that a third service
pack for Windows XP will become available after the next version of
the client OS, Windows Vista, ships at the end of 2006.
A Microsoft spokesman Wednesday insisted that Microsoft still hasn't
decided whether to release SP3 for Windows XP.
"We have not confirmed plans for a Service Pack 3 for Windows XP yet,"
said Michael Burk, product manager for Windows Vista. "At this point,
the Windows servicing team is reviewing the feedback on Windows XP SP2
and is still evaluating timing and alternatives for the next Windows
XP servicing release."
Copyright 2005 PC World Communications, Inc.
NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at
http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new
*** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. This Internet discussion group is making it available without
profit to group members who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information in their efforts to advance the
understanding of literary, educational, political, and economic
issues, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I
believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material
as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish
to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go
beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
owner, in this instance, PC World Communications, Inc.
For more information go to: