Windows XP Service Pack 3 is the last update package for your system developed by Microsoft. This new SP 3 includes all the previous patches and general improvements of the former Service Packs, besides new functions such as a more secure Wi-Fi access, and a health system status to manage your computer’s processes properly.
Microsoft tries to take care of its operating systems for as long as possible, increasing their lifetime for several years, solving normal performance problems and critical errors. For this reason they release, from time to time, major updates in this Service Pack format, in order to enhance Windows’ properties and solve security issues such as the Security Support Provider for your credential access. This new Windows XP Service Pack 3 does not include any critical updates for your system, but the utilities it provides can be useful for Wi-Fi connections, since it enhances its group policies for the usually used IEEE 802.1X authentication process.
For average users, this new Service Pack can be only considered as a routine Microsoft’s update without too much to give, since it does not really improve its general system performance, and does not provide any new interesting functions. But, on the other hand, it really enhances the management of networks thanks to NAP, for Network Access Protection, which is a technology developed by Microsoft to control the different accesses depending on the health of the system.
Security, administrative tools and not too much more
Despite being the final and free major update for XP, Windows XP SP3 doesn’t include too many additional functionalities. The main issue is the Microsoft Management Console 3.0, directly brought in from Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, to give a complete suite of administrative tools in order to manage networks, services and computers of every kind.
Stability is one of the main characteristics of this Windows version, so in order not to alter that, this pack has not touched general system elements. Security is, just as always, a major concern in all technological aspects. So to improve this part, some new options have been included regarding user’s credentials, account access and general Windows XP security fixes. In this way, with the download of this Service Pack 3 your system will be more secure.
Windows XP Service Pack 3 3.1 Features
Here you can find the main features of Windows XP Service Pack 3 before you download it:
- All the previous updates are included by default
- A new client to protect network accesses (Network Access Protection)
- Updated support Group Policy that includes IEEE 802.1X authentication compatible with wired adapters
- Detection of black holes; these are places where the traffic is lost or discarded without any further information
- Enhanced security for users’ credentials
- Health system checking to ensure that your computer possesses the latest security upgrades before accessing a network
- MMC 3.0 (Microsoft Managements Console) to grant networking tools
- Kernel Cryptographic Module to encapsulate cryptographic system’s algorithms
In case you want to learn more about this update, you are free to check its developers’ website in this link.
These are the minimum system requirements to install this Windows version in your computer before downloading it:
- Processor: 233 MHz or faster
- Memory: 64 MB RAM
- HDD: 900 MB free space for this update
- Video Card: Compatible with 800 x 600 resolutions