XP SP3 contains updates

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2008-02-20 Print this article Print

Also, NPD's U.S. commercial point-of-sale data, a database containing sales feeds from value added resellers, shows that 40 percent of Windows PCs sold to businesses now ship with Vista, while the other 60 percent still ship with XP. But that mirrors the pattern seen after the release of other new operating systems, he said.

"While the Vista percentage may seem low, it is very similar to the trend we saw after the XP launch. Businesses have historically taken their time with new operating system rollouts, and the trend we're seeing with Vista is very much in line with previous trends," Swenson said.

XP SP3 also contains numerous updates, including some important security upgrades, which were previously available individually, making it easier for IT departments to update machines. It also contains some functionality not available in previous stand alone updates, including Network Access Protection, a policy enforcement platform that enables XP SP3 users to take advantage of new features in Windows Server 2008.

 "NAP is an extremely important addition to XP, and will enable IT departments to enforce common policies throughout their PC fleet. But Microsoft's main messaging seems to be that, apart from NAP, there isn't much in the way of significant new features. I think that's a smart strategy, because if Microsoft included numerous new features into XP3, that would deter some people from rolling out Vista," he said.

Enderle also believes that, because of the critical mistakes Microsoft made with Vista, the market saw "a flawed, incomplete product, containing things they didn't want and nothing they did want, at an excessive price. It is no wonder IT said -no thanks.' Fixing that will be really tough." 

For his part, Cherry says that while Microsoft has acknowledged how important it is that releases be predictable and follow a road map or series of major and minor releases, it is equally important that Service Packs also be predictable, which is not currently the case.

But NPD's Swenson points out that while it would have been nice for Microsoft to space the release of XP SP3 and Vista SP1 out, SP3 had to wait until Windows Server 2008 was stable, so in many ways the company's hands were tied.


Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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