The last Service pack for XP users is coming - XP SP 3. Here is a preview look of a 'beta' version from -10-17-07 by Neil Randall -,2704,2200774,00.asp
. A few excerpts:<hr>&quot;With Service Pack 2 installed, Window XP has proven to be a notably durable and reasonably secure version of the operating system. The August 2004 release of SP2 dramatically upgraded the security of the original XP, adding the Windows Firewall and Windows Defender, along with easily configurable options to block or allow specific kinds of traffic into your system. Since SP2 came out, Microsoft has continued to supply fixes and enhancements via Windows (and Microsoft) Updates. For the most part, Windows XP Service Pack 3 simply rolls all the fixes and upgrades into a single convenient package, though there are a few brand-new additions with SP3.&quot;<hr>&quot;The only other significant user-interface modification lies with the taskbar, which no longer has the Address Bar a change Microsoft describes as a regulatory request...Second, SP3 adds support for <a target="_blank">FIPS</a> 140-1 Level 1 cryptography as a <a target="_blank">DLL</a> at the kernel level. Developers can access this Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module, making use of the cryptographic algorithms to improve the security of their own drivers. In addition, SP3 improves black hole router detection (sensing of routers dropping certain kinds of packets), allowing XP to reconfigure the <a target="_blank">Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)</a> to keep connections alive without the performance compromise the detection formerly caused. SP3 turns on detection by default; in earlier versions of XP, the facility was both less capable and, to minimize processor load, turned off by default.&quot;<hr>&quot;Much like Vista SP1, XP SP3 is an update you'll almost certainly apply to your PC, but it's not about to change your daily computing life. Still, if this really is the end for XP service packs, it's an important final step that will make your machine more secure. Security might not be much fun, but you certainly don't want to do without it.&quot;<hr>NaiveMelody NYC 10-19-07 - New Kid In Town - The Eagles