Don't want to mess around with using Windows Update to get your hands on Windows XP SP3 RC2? Now, you don't need to.
Microsoft has now rolled out full downloadable versions of SP3 RC2 in English (316.2 MB), German (312 MB), and Japanese (324.5MB). The 38KB script for persuading Windows Update to push it to your Windows XP SP2 machine is also available from the same link.
Some Added Notes on SP3
The release notes for SP3 RC2 are mostly unchanged from the original RC, but there's one big exception: how to ditch the pre-release version of Remote Desktop Client 6.1 before you install RC2. Those of you who hate having your desktops tatooed with "For testing purposes only..." will want to read the Remote desktop connection section of the release notes to learn how to avoid this problem.
The SP3 Overview is available in your choice of PDF or XPS (the latter's mainly for Vista users). However, XP users can grab the XPS Viewer (opens XPS documents in IE 6 or higher) or the XPS Esssentials Pack (opens XPS documents in a stanadalone viewer) from Microsoft's View and Generate XPS website. If you're running the x64 version of Windows XP Professional, be sure to choose the 64-bit version of the XPS Essentials Pack.
Before You Install, Check Out the SP3 Forum
Be sure to visit the TechNet XP SP3 forum before you install SP3, or if you have problems after installing SP3. Some recent threads of interest include: