Microsoft has released to manufacturing Windows XP Service Pack 3. The fresh software disgorgement will be made available for download through the Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Center services on April 29.
SP3 wraps up all previous Windows XP fixes and throws in some new features that bring management in-line with Microsoft's latest client and server operating systems. Microsoft promised updates won't "significantly change" customers' experiences with the operating system.
The service pack includes Management Console 3.0, which ships with Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, the new Windows Installer 3.1 and a component used in Windows Server 2008 that checks to make sure upgrades and security features have been applied before the machine is allowed onto the corporate network.