Microsoft has further delayed the release of Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, moving expected availability from the second half of 2007 to the first half of 2008. The change came silently in an update to the company's service pack roadmap.
Although that date is still listed as "preliminary" a similar delay for Windows Server 2003 SP2 seems to be finalized. Initially planned for the end of this year and currently in beta testing, SP2 will now arrive in the first quarter of 2007.
Windows XP SP3 will be the first major upgrade to the operating system since XP SP2 debuted in August 2004. SP2 was an extensive upgrade, bringing a new security center and improvements in wireless networking and Internet Explorer. However, with SP3 arriving three years later, the update will focus security patches and bug fixes rather than feature enhancements.