Windows XP SP3 Hits Manufacturing Today, Your Computer Next Week
As expected, Microsoft announced today that Windows XP Service Pack 3 was released to manufacturing (RTM). The RTM release means that hardware OEMs and Enterprise customers can get their hands on SP3 right away, and SP3 will be available to the general public next week, as expected next week. Sounds like a win-win deal, right? Not so fast.
MSDN and TechEd subscribers were originally supposed to receive SP3 today as well, but it appears that they might not get SP3 until after it becomes available to the general public. Given the cost of TechNet and MSDN subscriptions, I can't blame them for being concerned that they might not get their software until after any ordinary Windows XP user can download SP3.
Apple Reduces the Safari Sneak Factor
As you learned here, Apple got serious last month about getting market share for Safari, and took a lot of flak for pushing Safari via its Software Update service from rival browser vendor Mozilla. Apple has now changed how its Software Update works, showing separate Update and New Software sections. However, if you don't want Safari (now in version 3.3.1), it's still an opt-out selection. Don't clear the checkbox, and Safari winds up on your system along with the latest update to iTunes and/or QuickTime.
I remember when WordPerfect ruled the word-processing roost, and it still runs rings around Word for complex documents, find and replace of text formatting, and page layout features. Version X4 ('14' for those of you in Rio Linda) will be shipping in box form in early May, but can be purchased and downloaded immediately. X4 offers a lot of improvements over the current X3 version, including support for converting both text and image-based PDFs into editable text, support for the new PDF/A archive format, support for the newest MS Office 2007 and OpenOffice XML file formats, and redaction of sensitive information in files.
WP Office X4 also includes the WordPerfect Lightning idea organizer, web-based contact and calendar management, Corel Visual Intelligence data analysis tool, metadata removal, and support for dozens of word processing, spreadsheet, presentations, and graphics file formats, including many that Microsoft Office no longer supports. Vista users should note that the Professional version's Paradox database is not yet Vista-compliant, making the Standard and Home & Student editions better choices for now.
For an illustrated walk-through, download the Reviewer's Guide (PDF format). cNet's review is available here.