Windows XP SP3 sits high on user wish list

DLL fixes and NAP interoperability are a couple reasons why Windows managers put Windows XP SP3 on the top of the pile.

Bob Williamson, IT manager at Tacoma, Wash.-based law firm Eisenhower & Carlson PLLC, is hoping that Windows XP SP3 will have a DLL fix for the problems he's having with Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP relating to printing from Outlook 2003.

Microsoft yesterday released a near final Windows XP SP3 Release Candidate to MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

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The DLL fix Williamson is looking for, however, may not be available in XP SP3 since the rollup of mainly bug fixes and security updates does not include Internet Explorer 7.

A public XP SP3 RC should become available to IT shops sometime in the near future. The final release of the service pack is due out in the first quarter of 2008 and will coincide with the release of Vista SP1.

Windows XP SP3 does give IT shops a chance to test out Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP), a feature that isolates a laptop to check it for security risks before letting a user get on the network. Last summer, Microsoft said it would include the NAP client for XP in XP SP3.

"We use ISA, so [NAP] is perfect for us," Williamson said, adding that a speed boost in XP SP3 will also make it an easy sell to users. "You know the machines over time just keep slowing down, so that [speed boost over XP SP2] should help."

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