When Windows XP was first released in retail stores towards the end of October 2001, Microsoft managed to sell an astonishing 17m copies in just over two months, it’s been through 100’s of tweaks and upgrades, but topping that, total sales rose to in 2004 to a jaw dropping 210m copies.
Windows XP is all around us, what a lot of people don’t know is that Windows XP is even installed on ATM’s. I remember the old ATM I used to use in Woolworths which used to Blue Screen but it’s not only ATM’s that use Windows XP, the self-checkout tills in Tesco and Asda are running as well.
For any users who currently use the old Service Packs of Windows XP it’s essential that you upgrade your copy of Windows XP Home, Professional, Media Centre Edition or Tablet Edition before 13th July 2010 or you won’t receive any help from Microsoft as they are stopping support making Microsoft’s Service Pack 1 and 2 a ‘legacy’ software.
So if you are on Service Pack 2, you can upgrade through Windows Update which is under ‘All Programs’ accessible through your ‘Start’ button at the bottom left of your screen. However, if you are on Service Pack 1, it’s not as easy to go straight to Service Pack 3. You firstly need to go to Service Pack 2 and then upgrade to 3.
Service Pack 3 was released as an upgrade to existing computers running SP2 on 29th April 2008 (quite a while ago in computer terms) with more security updates and newer features compared to its predecessors. Microsoft didn’t necessarily aim their update to consumers but to businesses that are deploying computers.
Service Pack 3 contains three new areas not in the previous versions:
- Network Access Protection (NAP) modules and policies have been migrated from Vista. NAP is more of a corporate update
- New updates and patches making it more stable and secure
- Improvement to black hole router detection, for people who don’t know what a black hole router is one that discards packets of data silently.
- A new kernel that provides access to cryptographic algorithms
- To aid users into not selecting the incorrect security settings, Microsoft have made the Control Panel more descriptive.
- A new Windows Product activation that doesn’t require users to input a product key during setup
- Can detect routers discarding data
- HD audio support which is going to be beneficial for gamers
To upgrade to Service Pack 3, it’s an easy process to upgrade, just simply go to ‘Start > All Programs > Windows Update’. Once forwarded to the Internet Explorer page, just select ‘Express (Recommended)’ and Windows will do all the updates for you. You will however have to make sure that any current programs are closed, shut, saved and preferably backed up to an external hard drive or another peripheral as your computer will have to restart towards the end of the update.
If you need more information on updating to Service Pack 3, please click here.