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XP SP3: You Call That a Service Pack?

The good news is that Windows XP Service Pack 3 can make your XP-loaded computer run faster. The bad news is...well, as many of you know by now, there's been a lot of bad news. Or maybe you don't know, because your computer keeps rebooting endlessly or just blue screens when you try to install SP3. (Redmond is deflecting blame for the problems already.)

Yeah, we know; service packs are tricky, and we should expect some snafus with installing them. And these problems probably aren't affecting the majority of SP3 installs and might really not be Microsoft's fault.

But still. It's an XP service pack! XP! You know, the tried and true operating system that we all love, the one that's been around as long as most of us care to remember, the one that we're all hanging onto while shunning Vista. And it's a service pack, not a new product -- and not just any service pack, but an SP that Microsoft delayed for what seemed like forever so that it would be just right when it came out.

Well, so much for all that. Yet again, another release from Microsoft causes headaches for partners and customers -- and this one should've been fairly straightforward. We're not pointing the finger of blame here, just venting a bit on behalf of all the folks who are struggling to get SP3 to work properly, or at all. Really, this stuff gets ridiculous after a while, doesn't it?

Of course, if we were conspiracy-minded, we might believe that Microsoft sabotages XP SP3 in order to get users to dump XP altogether and move to Vista. But, of course, we don't believe that because it's a completely ridiculous notion. Still, it's fun to imagine that SP3's woes might be linked to something more sinister than snafus with chip makers' products or some other OEM-related issue. In any case, it can take your mind off of all those reboots, at least for a few minutes.

Have any XP SP3 horror stories? Share them at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Posted by Lee Pender on 05/13/2008 at 1:22 PM


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