Microsoft says XP SP3 is almost ready to go

Microsoft has release the release candidate version of the third service pack for its Windows XP operating system which is still the world's most popular operating system.

The download is available on Microsoft's website for any adventurous Windows XP user to have a go at.

The release of the XP SP3 RC1 usually means that Microsoft believes that the pack is almost ready to go live, nearly four years after the second service pack was sent out.

XP SP3 will be an amalgamation of fixes and updates although some have said that Microsoft will include a few features derived from Windows Vista.

But Microsoft will also bring in a few surprises like black-hole router detection; support for Network Access Protection (NAP) security-quarantining; enhanced security for administrator and service policy entries; inclusion of the Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module; and Windows Product Activation modifications.

The company which has often come under fire for not delivering on time and on target has put extra work into making sure that SP3 delivery process exceeds expectations.

Microsoft is also working on Vista SP1 and has already released the first service pack for its business suite, Microsoft Office 2007.