New Features Discovered in Windows XP SP3: Is It Better Than Vista?

The principal reason given for the tremendous under-the-hood changes to Windows unveiled early this year in Vista was the need to overhaul the security model. Indeed, Vista has proven to be a generally more secure operating system, though some vulnerabilities that apply to ordinary software impact Vista users just as much as any other.

But now, software analysts testing the latest build 3205 of the beta for Windows XP Service Pack 3 are discovering a wealth of genuinely new features – not just patches and security updates (although there are literally over a thousand of those), but services that could substantially improve system security without overhauling the kernel like in Vista.

According to preliminary reports from Neosmart, testers there found evidence that the company is hardening XP’s network security with added features.

One of these features had actually been on Microsoft’s list for some time, and might actually have caused problems for customers had it been omitted: Network Access Protection (NAP), which is due to be managed by the forthcoming Windows Server 2008. This new service disallows network clients from accessing a WS2K8 server without passing a minimum “health screening,” which checks for the presence of updates and service packs (including SP3) and disallows access to failing clients until they upgrade.

When NAP’s inclusion in WS2K8 was first confirmed in late August, a Microsoft spokesperson contacted BetaNews to make sure we reported it wasn’t just for Windows Server and just for Vista. We assumed that meant it would find its way to XP as well, though the spokesperson declined to be pressed further at that time.

read more | digg story

4 responses to “New Features Discovered in Windows XP SP3: Is It Better Than Vista?

  1. We have been getting bad feedback from users that have installed the Windows XP SP3. One of the biggest complaints is Microsoft did not include Direct X 10. The service pack employs many features of Vista and seems to turn your current version of XP into a steppingstone for purchasing a full copy of Vista. Please be sure your current computer programs will be able to handle the transition to SP3 or you may not be able to use them anymore.

  2. Windows sp3 sucks.

    once i installed it my sound card does not work

  3. Windows XP SP3 is 2 for 2 in the diaster deparment at our house. It killed the print spooler on my wife’s machine, and worse yet, so corrupted the XP OS in my machine that it will not boot or respond to recovery command.

    If that’s not sucky, I don’t know what is!

  4. Older motherboards and also the newer one have problems with XP SP3 when in come to installing Sound Card Driver.

    I have seen the problem on two computers already – an ageing ASUS A3M motherboard and also the newer M3N78 based board.

    My recommendation : Stay away from SP3.

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