InfoWorld reports that Microsoft will release Windows XP SP3 to Windows Update starting Thursday, July 10. If you don't have SP3 installed and Windows is configured to use the default Automatic (recommended) settings, you'll be upgraded to SP3 on Thursday or shortly afterwards (as usual, Windows Update uses a staggered schedule).
What to Do if You Absolutely, Positively Don't Want SP3
If you absolutely, positively don't want SP3 right now, you can put off automatic delivery of SP3 by installing the Windows Service Pack Blocker Tool Kit. Using the blocker will delay the automatic download of SP3 until April 2009.
What to Do if You're Worried About Installing SP3
Worried about installing SP3? You're not alone. We've provided plenty of help for Windows XP SP3 upgrading, so if you're still running SP2, take time to read our suggestions before SP3 comes knocking on your door.
If you don't want it delivered automatically, but don't want to install the SP blocker, here's a simple alternative: change your Windows Update configuration away from Automatic to a setting that informs you of updates, but doesn't install them automatically, as we suggest here.
(Update: 10:40PM CDT, July 10, 2008)
Reader pcfxer recommends updating your Windows Installer to version 3.1 before installing SP3 (see comments below for details). If you're not offered Windows Installer 3.1 via Windows Update, get it here.
How About You and SP3?
If you're already running SP3, how do you like it? Did you have any problems? Any suggestions for latecomers to the SP3 party? Give us your thoughts.