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By | Kelly Fiveash 19th December 2007 12:22

Microsoft spits out final XP service pack, beta version

Nudges users with Vista talk, again

Microsoft yesterday quietly dished out a beta version of its Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), but also continued to bang the less-than-convincing "Vista is better for you" drum.

By the time a full version of the update arrives, expected in the first half of 2008, it will have been nearly four years since Windows XP SP2 was made available for download.

Redmond had pushed back the final XP service pack release several times as it focused on attempting to iron out buggy issues with its little-used operating system, Vista.

Unsurprisingly, the software giant is hoping that as many users as possible choose to switch over to its latest OS rather than hold out for SP3, even though the release of Vista SP1 remains months away with a launch expected around the first quarter of next year.

Underlying the firm's desire to push up Vista sales and woo users away from XP, Microsoft said in a statement: "Windows XP SP3 does not bring significant portions of Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP."

It said the latest XP update will come bundled with security fixes and will be compatible with the Network Access Protection functionality of Windows Server 2008. ®

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