No, you can't have XP SP3. Nothing to see here. Move along.

It's an updated IT Blogwatch: in which Microsoft pulls Windows XP Service Pack 3 because of incompatibility problems with its own software. Not to mention Twitter tweets as art...

Elizabeth Montalbano is thinking life isn't fair:

Microsoft Corp. has delayed the release of its third service-pack update for Windows XP, blaming a "compatibility issue" between the software and its point-of-sale application for small and midsize retailers. Microsoft said last week that it had completed development of Service Pack 3 (SP3) and released the update to computer makers and its volume licensing customers. The new release was scheduled to be made available via Windows Update [Tuesday]. But incompatibilities discovered in the past several days between Microsoft's Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) application and both Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 are forcing the software vendor to hold off on releasing the XP update ... A fix to the incompatibility problem between the application and the service packs is being tested and "will be available as soon as that process is complete," Microsoft said. But it didn't disclose a time frame. more
Jason Mick adds:
In an eleventh hour move sure to draw criticism, the service pack was yanked by Microsoft and will not be released on April 29th as previously promised. The pack was pulled because it breaks or otherwise compromises the Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS). The RMS application is relatively uncommon and is chiefly used by small/midsize businesses, making Microsoft's decision to pull the pack seem a bit unusual ... Microsoft released the service pack to manufacturers last week. After complaints from Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet subscribers, it released the service pack to them as well. Microsoft acknowledges that some users have downloaded the file through direct links. It is advising against doing so. more
But Emil Protalinski doesn't care:
Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) has been uploaded to Microsoft's servers. Currently, the final build is only available on the download.windowsupdate domain in the following languages: Chinese (Hong Kong), Czech, English, French, German (Deutsch), Hebrew, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Simplified (Chinese), Spanish, and Traditional Chinese ... but it has not officially hit the Release to Web (RTW) milestone as was originally planned for today ... if you are not running Microsoft Dynamics RMS, it is perfectly safe to install XP SP3 or Vista SP1 (which has also been pulled from automatic updates). more
Microsoft's Chris Keroack 'fesses up:
In the last few days, we have uncovered a compatibility issue between Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) and both Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). In order to make sure customers have the best possible experience, we have decided to delay releasing Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) to the web. To help protect customers, we plan to put filtering in place shortly to prevent Windows Update from offering both service packs to systems running Microsoft Dynamics RMS. Once filtering is in place, we expect to release Windows XP SP3 to the web. We are also testing a fix, and will make it available once that process is complete. more
But Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols waxes cynical:
Oh please. Does anyone buy that excuse for one microsecond? Vista, now at SP1, still breaks applications ... Since when has Microsoft let a little thing like breaking end-user's programs, even Microsoft's own end-user programs, stop them from releasing software? I wonder if what's really happening is that Microsoft is once more trying to boost Vista at XP's expense. Will they get over it already? Vista is a flop. You know it. I know it. Heck, Microsoft knows it. Here's the simple truth. I have yet to meet anyone, who's not on the Microsoft payroll, that prefers Vista to XP. And, frankly get a drink or two into them, and you're not going to find many Microsoft staffers or channel partners who prefer Vista either. more
Ryan Wagner fills in the blanks:
Are you affected by it? If you’re just using the PC at home it’s very unlikely that you’ll notice any problems since you probably don’t use that software. The Retail Management System is a point-of-sale system that Microsoft puts out for small and mid-market retailers. It costs about $1,000 and therefore isn’t likely to be on your PC without you knowing about it. more
Charlie Anzman offers his view:
We've been using it for a few days ... There have been a few reports of installation issues. We did not encounter any of these problems during the testing of RC1, RC2 or the newly-released final version on XP Home or Pro. Most likely, there are more than a few messed up registries out there and/or people are trying to load the service pack without administrative privileges. (Another good idea is turning off any resident virus scanning during the install). There are a variety (LOTS) of updates and file replacements, and yes, some minor improvements in this Service Pack ... Installation may be slow on some machines. Allow some time. Ours averaged 10-25 minutes depending on the version on XP and the usual memory and processor issues ... We reported absolutely no issues (just our experience) to MS with SP3 RC1, RC2 or the final. From our view, it's a solid upgrade / roll-up. more
We can always rely on John Murrell for a colorful metaphor:
That screeching sound emanating from the northwest corner of the country this morning was Microsoft slamming the brakes on the public release of Windows XP Service Pack 3. more
And finally...

Buffer overflow:

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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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