WinXP SP3: seems snappier (and error'd)

Quick! Read IT Blogwatch: in which Windows XP Service Pack 3 appears to be faster than SP2. Not to mention some daft error messages to ease you into the post-Thanksgiving working day...

Gregg Keizer reports

Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), the update scheduled to release next year, runs Microsoft Corp.'s Office suite 10% faster than XP SP2 ... Devil Mountain ... a performance testing software developer ... ran its OfficeBench suite of performance benchmarks on a laptop equipped with Office 2007 ... a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 1GB of memory. The results reported a 10% speed increase under XP SP3 when compared to SP2. [more]

Here's Devil Mountain's anonymous blogger:

Since SP3 was supposed to be mostly a bug-fix/patch consolidation release - unlike w/Vista SP1, Microsoft made no promises of improved performance for XP - the unexpected speed boost comes as a nice bonus. In fact, XP SP3 is shaping-up to be a "must have" update for the majority of users who are still running Redmond's not-so-latest and greatest desktop OS. Of course, none of this bodes well for Vista ... performance-minded users will likely choose to stick with the now even speedier Windows XP. [more]

Marius Oiaga obsesses:

Yes, it's time for every Windows user's favorite obsession: Windows XP Service Pack 3. The third and final service pack for Windows XP has been quite elusive for the past three years ... XP is deeply rooted, having had no less than five years to dig itself in, and is now at approximately 80% of the operating system market ... SP3 will be an incentive for XP users to stick with what they got. [more]

Dave Parrack barracks:

SP3 is well overdue, 4 long years after SP2 was released in April 2004 ... Earlier in the week, Devil Mountain had claimed that Windows Vista SP1 was no faster than the original, so these new claims could spell bad news for Vista ... I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m happy with XP as it is right now, and SP3 should only help to maintain my level of satisfaction. [more]

Michael Santo comments:

Is Windows Vista turning out to be more like Windows Me, one of Microsoft’s greatest OS failures, than anything else? The only real attraction for me has been DirectX 10. Aside from that, everything else appears incremental in appearance. Nice to have, but nothing I must have. [more]

Zoli Erdos cries:

Ouch. This hurts ... No wonder Forrester Research says Vista’s biggest problem is XP ... Of course most users won’t notice it ... We don’t buy operating systems, we buy computers ... The Vista-based new screamer clearly runs a lot faster than the 3-year-old laptop running XP, but in reality it’s running at half-speed - the other half eaten by the Operating System. [more]

Devil Mountain posted this followup comment:

We've run the same tests using Office 2003 on Vista SP1. The result? It went from being 2x slower than XP to 1.8x slower than XP. We've also tested with 2GB across the board and saw less than a 5% variance either way. Of course, you don't need to take our word for it. All of our tools are publicly available through ... [more]

Claus Valca tried it, on a VM:

I first ran Windows Update to bring the virtual system to current patching levels. I confirmed in the Windows Properties that it was XP Pro, SP2. I then downloaded and applied the registry hack. I went back and ran the Windows Updates again, and lo-and-behold...there it was: "Windows XP Service Pack 3 (32-bit x86) Release Candidate 1" being offered. I downloaded and installed it. Then rebooted. When I checked again Windows Properties showed it had been successfully updated to Service Pack 3 v.3244. [more]

But a Microsoftie warns:

OK, so some of you have figured out how to get Windows XP SP3. Don't do it. You should not screw with Windows Update just to get a release candidate version of a service pack. By the time we release something as a release candidate on WU, it has been through an enormous amount of internal testing, and internal deployment. Which means that you'll get it (officially) pretty soon anyway. [more]

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

Other Computerworld bloggers:

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You too can pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

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