As of now, Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 2 is now available from the Microsoft Download Center to users running PCs with XP SP2 installed.
"This release catches the build up on previously released hotfixes and responds to the critical feedback from the previous betas," said a Microsoft spokesperson.
Windows XP SP3 is scheduled for release in "the first half of 2008" but the exact timing, says Microsoft, "will always be based on customer feedback as a first priority."
Some analysts believe that this service pack might slow down windows Vista adoption, but Microsoft has repeatedly warned users not to expect it to be as feature-laden as the previous windows XP service pack. Service Pack 3 will focus on security and stability. The most important feature in this service pack will be the detection of so-called 'black hole' network routers that can interfere with network performance.