Windows XP SP3 Release Candidate gets green light

15,000 lucky beta testers have been sent the latest Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate.

The pack contains all the cumulative patches since SP2 was released back in August 2004 and is said by to be released in the first half of 2008.

Blogger Mary J. Foley thinks that SP3 will come after Vista first Service Pack for marketing reasons as Microsoft gently pushes Windows XP users to Vista.

Microsoft has not made any official statement on features found in Windows XP SP3, but a page on Microsoft's web site suggests that will include additional "support for doing true "per-user" application installation".

Windows XP will reach its end of Life in April 2014, nearly 13 years after it debuted.

Microsoft now ageing operating system is still a favourite in the corporate world as it was one of the most stable OS ever launched by Microsoft, even compared with Vista.