Microsoft Offers Up XP SP3 Release Candidate

Get your mitts on those performance improvements.

Here’s the latest reason not to buy Vista…

Microsoft’s bulky, buggy OS (which didn’t get anywhere near featuring in our TrustedReviews Awards 2007 choices) now has a leaner, meaning Windows XP gunning for it after the first Release Candidate of Service Pack 3 was made publicly available today.

Interest in the last major update for XP has peaked recently after pre-release testing showed it to give an impressive (and wholly unexpected) 10 per cent performance boost over SP2. That said, aside from the speed gains, SP3 is primarily expected to be a bug and security patch-fest rather than a platform to introduce new features. A full-on White Paper explaining every last detail can be downloaded here if you’re (s)weird(/s) that way inclined.

Every flavour of Windows XP is coverage by SP3 RC1 which means *deep breath* Windows XP Home Edition, Home Edition N, Media Center Edition, Professional, Professional N, Tablet PC Edition and those running either SP1 only or SP2.

Now, as usual, all the standard caveats apply: this isn’t the final, final official version of the software, Microsoft is still in the testing process, the official SP3 won’t arrive until Q2 2008, blah blah blah…

Still, a 10 per cent speed boosts guys n gal(s) is nothing to be sniffed at so lap it up. Oh and let us know your experiences in our forums because (s)we want to see you take the bullet first(/s) we’re curious…

Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate

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