2 Days with XP Service Pack 3 Final

Oh the power of marketing… Here it shows again. Service Pack 3 has no new options [1] and is a fix package only [2] they™ say. Is anyone surprised by that statement? When Service Pack 2 was released, everyone (started by MS and then spread by most media) was talking about the fundamental changes and enhancements over XP SP1, when SP2 in reality had nothing but ~4 changes the user would actually notice. The annoying security center (which everyone disabled asap), a pop-up blocker for IE (I’m still laughing) and changes to the built-in firewall (which usually stayed disabled as it was in SP1). And it seems I forgot the fourth… I’m sure it was something very important though. ;)

So, SP2 was presented to be more than a Service Pack and SP3 as just a Service Pack. Right.

What was really different back then? Why the effort to create so different perceptions? XP was still the newest MS (Desktop-) OS on the market when SP2 was released. No big further differences at all. Benchmarks show XP SP3 is 10% faster than SP2? Who advertised that? No one did. It’s only known because people, other than MS, checked it out and wrote about it. Would the same happened, if SP2 would have been faster? No chance in hell! It would have been mentioned on every occasion! No one should buy into this crap… It disturbs me how easy it obviously is, to make “everyone” believe, that there were so many more changes in SP2 than there are now in SP3, when it’s in reality surely more about MS not making their biggest competitor against Vista even more attractive in public (and when SP3 is as big or as small a deal as SP2 was back then).

Now to the Service Pack 3 itself… I installed it 2 days ago (on several machines and after creating images – just in case) and was surprised that no problems occurred after the installation (which took 8 minutes). I expected that at least something wouldn’t work correctly anymore or would function to its disadvantage (in comparison). That wasn’t the case. I had only 2 things to take care of. One, I disabled the security center again (it can now report even more annoying things than before; my virus scanner can report itself if it’s updating or not, I don’t need the security center for that too…) and two, I re-patched the tcpip.sys. And that’s that. Couldn’t have been better.


SP3 not only contains patches and updates, but also a number of add-ons that have been sold separately, such as Background Intelligent Transfer Service (Bits) 2.5, Windows Installer 3.1, Management Console (MMC) 3.0 and Core XML Services 6.0. SP3 does not, however, contain any fundamentally new functions, and no new versions of Internet Explorer or Media Player are included.



Of course, none of this bodes well for Vista, which is now more than 2x slower than the most current builds of its older sibling.




XP Service Pack 3 Final English

XP Service Pack 3 Final Deutsch


  1. 1 If you come to think of it (7) « adrift

    […] 25, 2008 in Uncategorized With WPA2 and NAP (I forgot), along the other stuff, SP3 has even more new content than SP2… No Comments Leave a Commenttrackback […]


  2. 2 .NET 3.5 « adrift

    […] redistributable. The file weighs 197 MB. During the installation (which took roughly as long as the SP3) a download window appeared, showing how much was missing! It’s almost 200 MB, but […]


  3. 3 Windows 7 Weirdness « adrift

    […] to XP… Okay, who expects this crowd to make sense… Although the media seems to spin these stories quite often, people should know better. There are more than enough real tweaks people could want, […]


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