Microsoft Corp is expected to release the widely expected Windows XP Service Pack 3 on April 29. However, volume license customers, Original Equipment Manufacturers, MSDN and TechNet subscribers will receive it earlier, planned for April 21.
Windows XP SP3 will also be available as an automatic update on June 10.
Service Pack 3 is a huge update and will feature more than 1,000 hot fixes and patches that have been issued in the past three years, as well as at least four new features, some of which will be ports of Vista tools.
Microsoft will also give its Windows XP customers a performance boost with Service Pack 3, which will further increase the gap in performance between XP and Vista.
Microsoft also announced that Windows XP Home will be available for ultra-low-cost PCs and laptops marketed in developing markets for another two years. The software giant made the decision because ultra-low-cost PCs are unable to run Microsoft’s latest operating system Windows Vista.
Windows Vista hasn’t been received well by customers, even despite Microsoft promoting impressive sales figures, and research firm Gartner suggested that the Windows core might collapse under its own weight if Microsoft doesn’t make serious changes soon.