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Windows XP Service Pack 3 beta due

The update for XP will be the third major revision of the operating system since 2001

As well as the news that Microsoft is prepping a beta of Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista, we've also heard there will be a similarly imminent beta of the next major update for Windows XP - Service Pack 3.

The last Service Pack for Windows XP was a truly major release with several new features implemented such as the Windows Security Center and new networking wizards.

However it seems that SP3 won't be anywhere near as comprehensive, serving only as a 'roll-up' of previously released fixes. While this might seem to be another case of Microsoft hot air, it will provide a new point of reference for the operating system, released six years ago.

Microsoft will be able to tell XP users to ensure they are up-to-date by installing SP3, rather than saying SP2 and hoping that users have the remainder of the updates.

The development will mirror that of Vista's Service Pack 1, with a beta release next month and widespread availability early next year.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.