Windows XP SP3, What is it good for?

So what is Windows XP SP3 all about? Well the biggest item I could see besides a rollup of security and update patches is Network Access Protection (NAP).

"NAP is a policy enforcement platform built into Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows XP SP3 with which you can better protect network assets by enforcing compliance with system health requirements. Using NAP, you can create customized health policies to validate computer health before allowing access or communication; automatically update compliant computers to ensure ongoing compliance; and optionally confine noncompliant computers to a restricted network until they become compliant. For more information about NAP, see Network Access Protection: Frequently Asked Questions.""
- Microsoft

Before installing, I would reccommend reading over the "950717 Steps to take before you install Windows XP Service Pack 3". I installed it with no hiccups. The biggest item that I saw was about Internet Explorer (IE). If you want to be able to go backwards to IE6 after installing SP3, then make sure that you uninstall IE7 or IE8 before installing SP3, so that your currently installed IE version is 6.

"Microsoft recommends that users who want to retain the ability to downgrade from IE7 to IE6 should uninstall the former before upgrading to XP SP3. Once Windows XP has been updated to SP3, users can then install IE7 and if necessary, later restore IE6. IE8 Beta 1 users should also uninstall the preview before upgrading"
- ITWorld.com

Another good FAQ site for SP3 is WinSuperSite.com.

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