Microsoft Releases Windows XP SP3 For Testing

In yet another sign that Microsoft isn't planning a retirement party for its Windows XP operating system any time soon, the company has released a new service pack for the Windows Vista predecessor.

Windows XP SP3, build 3205, has been released to beta testers and contains more than one thousand patches and hot fixes, according to bloggers at The build is available to beta testers for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 and has been published in English, German and Japanese language editions.

The enhancements include a simplified activation system, a network access protection module that borrows from technology used in Windows Vista, and improved support for cryptographic algorithms.

The latest major update to the operating system, Windows XP SP2, was released more than three years ago.

Last week, Microsoft introduced a new licensing program designed to let users of fake or pirated copies of the business version of Windows XP upgrade to fully licensed copies.