Windows XP SP3 RTM available for download
Finally, after pulling the RTM of Service Pack 3 for Windows XP a little over a week ago, Microsoft is finally releasing both the standalone and Windows Update versions of this long-awaited update. Supposedly, the incompatibility issue was fixed or else they would not have made it available.
You probably noticed an update notification in your system tray recently (provided you have Automatic Updates turned on) for SP3. Otherwise, you can visit the Microsoft Technet website for download links. The standalone file is a whopping 316.4MB, so I suggest that if you have many PCs to update you should at least download a few more megabytes and get the CD ISO image.
As with all major service pack updates you should perform some general maintenance on your PC before proceeding. Check out this useful thread over at BestTechie.net on what you should do. It would also be a good time to back up your entire system should anything go wrong. I will be imaging my entire OS partition and burning it to a bootable DVD.
I hope Microsoft does not once again have to pull the update for another discovered incompatibility issue. However, I am eager to find out if SP3 really does improve Windows XP’s performance as some have claimed, but I do realize that others have not noticed much of a difference.