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Windows XP Service Pack 3 Not Due Until 2007 334

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-ok-no-new-viruses-are-scheduled-in-07 dept.
vitaly.friedman writes "Microsoft has published the due date for Windows XP SP3 (Service Pack 3) on its Windows Lifecycle Web site. The preliminary due date (the latter half of 2007) for the next collection of fixes and patches for Microsoft's desktop operating system is as more than a year later than many company watchers were expecting."
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Windows XP Service Pack 3 Not Due Until 2007

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:25PM (#14513704)
    Whitedust posted an interesting commentary on this [whitedust.net] this other day. I agree with them.
    • by badriram (699489) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @07:08PM (#14514073)
      Microsoft always did say that SP will not have new features. Then SP2 sort of changed that only for that instance. Just about all updates on most SP can be downloaded individually and installed. So MS is not really taking anything away from you.

      A SP release to them just adds more QA and testing, that i think they want to avoid and release vista. I keep seeing people posting how they think MS is doing this so they can sell Vista. I do not think that is the reason, as most people buy windows through OEM with new computers, and a late SP is not going to change that. Corporations are not going to just switch to vista in a few months because of SP3 being late either, because by the time they test and release SP3, SP1 for vista would be out....

      The only people that might upgrade are well Windows fans/devs/sys admins, and well they will upgrade irregardless of SP3 timeline
      • Microsoft always did say that SP will not have new features.

        Well leaving aside the XPSP2 you mentioned, what about NT4SP4 (ie, integration of browser with OS)? If this is really Microsoft's statement regarding SP's, then they've went against their word more than once.

    • Quote from the Whitedust article linked above: "... should the security of Microsoft's existing users be sidelined ...?"

      That's always been Microsoft's policy, in my opinion. Microsoft makes more money when Windows is not secure because many people buy new computers when they begin having problems.

      The interests of billionaires are almost never the interests of society in general. Billionaires begin to believe that they are superior.
  • But.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by JonJ (907502) <jon.jahren@gmail.com> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:26PM (#14513710)
    I thought Windows Vista was due this year?
    • Linux (Score:2, Insightful)

      by RobBebop (947356)
      I can see that a software company wants to concentrate on getting a product that is going to make them money (Vista) out the door on time, and that nothing for a service pack that is critical is going to be held back.

      My question: If this enrages people - why not switch over to Linux where the SOTA is always available in a no-cost distribution?
    • Re:But.. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by panaceaa (205396)
      I thought Windows Vista was due this year?

      Correct, Vista is planned for the end of 2006. From there, Microsoft has already planned Vista SP1 for mid-2007, followed by XP SP3 in late 2007. Basically there's 4-8 months between releases, so developers have a span of time to dedicate themselves to each project.
      • Re:But.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TubeSteak (669689)
        By the beard of Odin, planned Service Packs sounds more like planned bug fixes.

        They've already blown their Vista deadline (at least once) so Why TF don't they keep it in testing for another 4 months instead of releasing buggy software?

        Or why not a final Beta release to let the fanboys go at it and find the bugs?

        Maybe with their 'new' patching system, patches won't need to be measured in MBs, in which case, Service Packs won't be hundreds of megs. I could live with that, but jumping on Vista worse than being
  • huh (Score:5, Funny)

    by c0dedude (587568) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:26PM (#14513711)
    "2007" is a funny term for "whenever we get around to it"....
    • "When its Done" 3DRealms
    • "2007" is a funny term for "whenever we get around to it"...

      Is it too early to anounce Windows 2010, which will come out in 2012 but won't perform properly until the 2015 patch but Windows 2020 should be really amazing.

  • XP SP-3 in 2007 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thriemus (514728) * on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:28PM (#14513730)
    I read that and I wasnt one bit suprised in the least.

    Somethings wrong...
    • Re:XP SP-3 in 2007 (Score:2, Informative)

      by Threni (635302)
      > Somethings wrong...

      I'm keeping up to date with the patches - why wait a year? Service Packs don't add anything I can't live without. It won't make the stuff I've got work better, and it won't contain anything you'll have to have for future software to work. Also, it won't be available to anyone with a dialup modem (unless they've got a provider that doesn't cut them off every 2 hours like the ones I've used do).
      • Also, it won't be available to anyone with a dialup modem (unless they've got a provider that doesn't cut them off every 2 hours like the ones I've used do).

        I work at PC World in the UK, there are stacks of free SP2 CDs that are right by the PC Clinic where people bring in their PCs for help and by the checkouts too. They're not that hard to come by.
      • Also, it won't be available to anyone with a dialup modem (unless they've got a provider that doesn't cut them off every 2 hours like the ones I've used do).

        Customers have the option of ordering a "free" CD (plus shipping and handling) from Microsoft. Here's the link for WinXP SP2:

  • by DeveloperAdvantage (923539) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:28PM (#14513732) Homepage
    I think by then half of their team will be working at google!
  • You can't release another XP service pack until Vista is out!
    • Exactly what I was thinking. They'll bring out Vista and then they'll make a package with all the patches which came out since SP2 + some features that are new in Vista (not the shiny stuff, just things needed for compatibility). This doesn't surprise me at all, but on the other hand there's not really a need for a sp meanwhile, because the patches just do the same job (and they can be bootstraped just like a sp).
      I never understood some of my co-workers installing beta versions of SP2 before it came out (a
  • by rob_squared (821479) <rob&rob-squared,com> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:30PM (#14513754)
    Microsoft doesn't love releasing service packs for any OS that isn't the latest one.

    NT4 service packs ended about the time Win2K came out.

    I'm guessing this means Vista will be pushed even further back then Microsoft have been letting on.
  • W.. T.. F.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:32PM (#14513774) Homepage
    This story reminds me of a co-worker I used to have, who used to spout off completely worthless information. One day he decided to inform everyone that the history of the letter W was not in the dictionary, much to his dismay. Nobody was ever quite sure why he cared, let alone why he felt it necessary to verbalize his observations. I suspect he submitted this story as well.
  • by gasmonso (929871) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:32PM (#14513775) Homepage

    This shouldn't surprise anyone. MS wants Vista to be out before any major patch to XP. Its in their best interest as it compels more people to upgrade to Vista. XP will be treated like a red-headed step child so Vista will look more appealing. So long as they issue security patches I'll be happy. It's what I've come to expect.

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
  • "date"? (Score:5, Funny)

    by deep44 (891922) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:33PM (#14513794)
    So their release "date" is 2H 2007? Since when is a 6-month window considered a "date"?

    A precedent like that really makes you wonder about the release "dates" they still can't commit to.
    • Since when is a 6-month window considered a "date"?

      I'm guessing you're not female.
    • Re:"date"? (Score:2, Interesting)

      So their release "date" is 2H 2007? Since when is a 6-month window considered a "date"?

      It's extremely common in the software industry to target a half or quarter rather than giving a firm calendar date. I wouldn't fault Microsoft for this since everyone else does it as well. The main problem Microsoft has is this window constantly slips farther and farther back.

    • I'm sure a 9 month window would be considered a date!! :-)
  • There have been, what, only...40 critical updates since SP2? That's a reasonable number of things to download over a modem before my operating system is usable.

    =P
  • by Ajehals (947354) <a.halsall@pirateparty.org.uk> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:36PM (#14513818) Homepage Journal
    Given the number of fixes released annually I assume MS have to wait till 2007 for gigabit boradband speeds to make it a viable download.... or send a SAE for the 7 DVD SP3 set.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:37PM (#14513827)
    ...after the press release from the Duke Nukem: Forever team, where they announced they would be going gold when XP SP3 was released.
  • 2007? (Score:5, Funny)

    by AeroIllini (726211) <aeroillini.gmail@com> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:37PM (#14513829)
    This just in: Microsoft Windows XP SP3 is now renamed Microsoft Windows Vista, and will ship sometime in early 2009. Possible new features include an updated icon, a completely new marketing campaign, one driver for an HP scanner written in a drunken coding blitz at 3am, and a new desktop wallpaper prominently featuring the Microsoft Logo.
    • one driver for an HP scanner written in a drunken coding blitz at 3am

      Queue another rhapsody in blue:

      A problem has been detected and Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer...
      Technical information:

      STOP: 0x00000009 (0x8061D594,0x00000002,0x00000000,0x805BFD2B) ALCOHOL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
      • First of all it might be a good idea to display the blue screens again by default. Should be possible to sell it as a new feature .
        Afterall you never think of turning this behavior off *before* you have a non booting system and the current solution is like playing a .wav saying "It's not Steve, the hardware did it" in an infinite loop.
    • Re:2007? (Score:4, Funny)

      by H0p313ss (811249) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @07:00PM (#14514015)

      Possible new features include an updated icon, a completely new marketing campaign, one driver for an HP scanner written in a drunken coding blitz at 3am, and a new desktop wallpaper prominently featuring the Microsoft Logo.

      That would be Windows ME

  • by Eric_Cartman_South_P (594330) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:38PM (#14513839)
    Service Pack to fix windows is already out. It's actually up to version 4. It's called OS X 10.4.4
  • Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:39PM (#14513845) Journal
    Has anyone else noticed Microsofts gradual decrease in providing updates?
    For example, NT 4 had 6 service packs and number 7 was not released. But supposedly was pretty much complete, number 7 added a bunch of features that were supposedly in Windows 2000.. and with the release of Windows 2000 just around the corner.. why would they want to make 2000 less appealing?

    Also, notice that 2000 has just 4 service packs..

    And it's looking more like XP will be getting just 3 by the end of life period, now... either Microsoft have absolutely amazing QA which means they're fixing all the bugs in their OS's by the last service pack or they want to force people onto their newest OS with the promises of bug fixes etc.

    This is disheartening, they're trying to force people into a perpetual upgrade cycle and are being very successful at it too. I guess we can only hope that stuff like Linux and OpenOffice start making some inroads to at least reduce the price of Windows to help reduce the pressure on people who are locked into MS solutions.
    • Service packs are [typically] nothing more than an update rollup. Like a fruit rollup, only not as tasty, and much larger. It's no different from installing a bunch of updates at once. XPSP2 is the exception.
    • Compared to MacOS X... Panther had 9 updates (since I believe 10.3.9 was/is the current/final version). Tiger is up to 10.4.4 now.
      • OS X incremental updates are smaller in scope than service packs, usually minor bugfixes and speedups released every few months. Security Updates are occasional. Contrast to Microsoft which actually has a "Patch Tuesday" and releases dozens of non-stop patches all year long.
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kawika (87069) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @07:06PM (#14514052)
      Corporate America told Microsoft that they didn't like service packs because they required a lot of IT effort to roll out across the organization. As it stands, any true security patch needs to be installed ASAP, so anything in a service pack is probably something most IT departments would prefer to avoid unless it scratches their itch.

      Microsoft has been listening to big companies; they created "patch Tuesday" as a way to reduce the pain for corporate IT departments. Think about it, why wouldn't MS release the patch ASAP for consumers? In fact, that would be better for MS debugging because it would be easier for MS to tell if a particular patch caused problems. As it is, they're all clumped together each month.

      If nobody in particular is clamoring for an update, Microsoft will oblige them by not issuing one.
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by misleb (129952) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @08:16PM (#14514569)
      To be fair to Windows (ha!), I have found that the useful life of a Linux installation is a lot shorter than Windows. I would never consider installing a Linux distribution from 2000, but Win2k isn't all that bad (as Windows goes) even 6 years later.

      Of course, distributions such as Debian make up for this in being very easy (and cheap!) to upgrade to the latest version, but still. I've run into situations where I really want to upgrade a Debian system but fear breaking something. Eventually I just bite the bullet and do it. Things usually work out pretty well, but if it were Windows, I would be able to upgrade individual programs without worrying about support from the underlying OS because most programs work on all Windows platforms going back to NT 4.0.

      Just something to keep in mind next time you lament the Windows upgrade cycle...

      -matthew
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:3, Informative)

      by krunk4ever (856261)
      To be fair, why don't you also tell how many SP Win95, Win98, and WinME had?

      Not too sure why you're post was rated insightful...
  • Being a beta-tester for the boys at Redmond (let's face it - every OS product I've ever seen from them requires extensive patching from the moment it's released for sale), or

    Suffering with an insecure OS because:

    1) M$ doesn't believe the exploit is that serious

    2) M$ hasn't fixed the exploit yet, or

    Spending my time waiting for a downloaded patch to break stuff, or

    Oh, wait . . .

    I run SuSE x86_64 and Solaris SPARC - No wonder I don't care about Windoze XP SP3. I feel much better now. Never mi

  • by LiTa03 (879539)
    NT3.51 had 5 service packs. NT4 had 6.5. w2k had 4. XP might only have 2.

    Next one after that? Won't have any service packs at all!

    I'd still be using my NT4 if it weren't for the lack of USB. It was supposed to come in SP7... but didn't because 2k was released. 2k had USB support and people moved en-masse. Can't remember what XP promissed over 2k, though. Better games? Icons for children? Can't have been improved stability, right?

    • TONKA TOY INTERFACE.

      I was going to say "NT + DirectX" but then I remembered that that was lumped into 2k as well. Might explain why it's the only windows OS we run at work. :P
    • " NT3.51 had 5 service packs. NT4 had 6.5. w2k had 4. XP might only have 2.
      Next one after that? Won't have any service packs at all!"


      5 ... 6.5 ... 4 ... ~2 ... ?

      How do you get 0 as the next number in the sequence?

      No matter how hard I try, I keep getting sqrt(pi).
    • Can't remember what XP promissed over 2k, though. Better games? Icons for children? Can't have been improved stability, right?

      Win2k wasn't marketed to home users; they mostly stuck with Win98 or tried WinME. Those of us who had Win2k saw WinXP as a candy coated Win2k, but for non business users it was a great jump in stability. (As time goes on I find more I like about WinXP over Win2k, but none of the differences are earth shaking.)
    • Can't remember what XP promissed over 2k, though.

      I can think of a few things:
      • Subpixel font rendering for LCDs (aka ClearType)
      • Fast user switching (this is how my wife and I manage to coexist with one PC)
      • Can pull out USB drives without "stopping" them first

  • by Skiron (735617) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:54PM (#14513960) Homepage
    It will take 18 months to download...
  • by Linker3000 (626634) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:55PM (#14513972) Journal
    Well, it *is* hard to improve on perfection!

    /sarcasm
  • In my job, I have to fix dorm residents' personal computers for pretty much any software problem. You name it: viruses, worms, spyware, basic help, installing virus protection, and convincing people to install service pack 2.

    Getting people to install SP2 was and still is a pain in the ass. They don't trust it becuase their mother's cousin's son-in-law, who saw something on TV about it, says that it can cause problems.

    But just as we'll probably be just about finished getting the students to upgrade, here com
  • by Warlock7 (531656) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @06:57PM (#14513985)
    is this Redmond doing some of their creative trickery to try and get people to adopt Vista early?

    Seems like most of the XP SP3 fixes will already be in Vista when it comes out. So, why wait for the upgrade when you can simply replace your whole OS for a newer one?
  • ...But in reality, I'd say late 2006. Odds are that right after Vista is released, some show-stopper of a bug will be found, and suprise suprise, it will also have an Impact on XP. Something like that could hasten the release of the third service pack for XP. Either that, or some significant technolog change, that requires a large update to be pushed out promptly.
  • By the time WinXP SP3 rolls out, Microsoft should be able burn the file to HD-DVD. (Which I presume will be needed since the SP3 installer will probably be huge if you patching a virgin install of the original WinXP disc.) The only problem is do you need SP3 installed first before you can access SP3 on a HD-DVD? Hmmm...
  • by wfberg (24378) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @07:08PM (#14514079)
    I can find service pack 3 just fine.. It's at this site called autopatcher [autopatcher.com]. Also there's this tool to make slipstreamed and unintended installs, here [nliteos.com]. Also, windowsupates works just fine in firefox [62nds.com].

    Fine tools from the folks NOT at microsoft..
  • marketing++ (Score:3, Interesting)

    by smash (1351) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @07:15PM (#14514129) Homepage Journal
    So, you want a (semi) secure version of Windows before 2007 do you?

    Ahh, well you'll be wanting Windows Vista then.

    Smells like just another crappy marketing exercise to me.... good thing my next computer is going to run Mac OS / Linux (currently dual-boot Windows 2000 / Linux on my current one for games, and yes I am a transgaming subscriber ;)).

    smash.

  • Just for Cringely... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Colz Grigor (126123) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @07:24PM (#14514201) Homepage
    I suspect that Microsoft did this just to prove Cringely wrong [slashdot.org] on at least one point during the first month of the year.

    But the Cringely clock is still ticking...

    ::Colz Grigor // Not a Cringely fan...

  • I don't really see the relevance in explicit service packs anymore. They already put all the fixes and most if not all of the additional programs on Microsoft Update... I'm surprised they haven't stopped releasing service packs altogether. So what are service packs for? People with no Internet connection?
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @07:54PM (#14514434) Journal
    As the Windows fans says "it only makes sense for Microsoft from a business perspective to give more reasons to purchase Vista, since it'll then be out earlier". And it does. But not from a security perspective, which happens to be what matters to the XP users.
  • It took our computer center a month to evaluate SP1. For SP2 it took them almost three months to figure out what might possibly go wrong if they deploy on all local Windows XP PCs. They face complains from hundreds of users if things go south. SP3 is going to be a nightmare for them. But, all those Windows bugs also keep them employed.
  • Instead of having Windows * with SP*, why can't they just use a normal version number scheming? It's not that complicated.... If Mac people can handle it, so can Windows people. How about a good ol ..? Seems logical to me. It makes a lot more sense then Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and KB3490gk, 4494055,....n-1 updates installed.....
  • Whatever (Score:3, Funny)

    by xenocide2 (231786) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @08:27PM (#14514638) Homepage
    Shit, by 2007 I'll be stealing Vista instead of XP anyways.

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk

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