Microsoft publicly released Windows XP Service Pack 3 yesterday, which means that it should appear in your list of available updates. To grab your own standalone copy of the update, download the EXE or the ISO directly from Microsoft. Lifehacker also has a tutorial on getting SP3 onto a Windows install disc to save yourself loads of trouble later. Read what Ars Technica, Lifehacker, and Wired have to say about the upgrade.
This service pack was rumored in November (by Wired and CNET, among others) to offer a 10% boost in speed, but who knows under what conditions it’ll actually be noticeable. And all this amidst protests against Microsoft’s plan to stop selling XP this summer. Even John Dvorak, whose columns I’ve been reading since adolescence, hates Vista:
You’re not supposed to deliver a new operating system that’s been in development for more than four years yet performs worse than the previous OS. Performance should be at the top, not the bottom, of the to-do list. You get the sense that Microsoft just piles code on top of code and somewhere in the middle of it all is MS-DOS 1.0.