Keep in mind that the x64 version is based on Windows Server 2003 - you won't see SP3 for XP Pro x64 until Windows Server 2003 is updated to SP3.
Want to avoid problems? Be careful .
Once SP3 becomes available via the Microsoft Download Center, the links will be posted as updates to this story. Happy Downloading!
ZDNet All About Microsoft blogger MaryJo Foley reports that Microsoft has pulled the plug on releasing SP3 to the Web today due to a compatibility problem with Microsoft's own Dynamics Retail Management System (aka Dynamics RMS), a small to medium-size business retail management system. She also reports that Microsoft is temporarily halting automatic downloads of Vista SP1. However, you can still download Vista SP1 manually .
What about the direct link ferreted out this morning by Neowin.net (see first paragraph for link)? Microsoft does not advise using direct links for downloads. However, if you don't want to wait for Redmond to officially release XP SP3, ZDNet Hardware 2.0 blogger Adrain Kingsley-Hughes has compared the digital signatures and MD5 hashes of the direct-link download with a TechNet Plus download and XP SP3 CD sent from Microsoft - and they match.
What now? According to a posting today at Microsoft's TechNet forum by Microsoftie Chris Keroack:
To help protect customers, we plan to put filtering in place shortly to prevent Windows Update from offering both service packs [XP SP3 and Vista SP1] to systems running Microsoft Dynamics RMS. Once filtering is in place, we expect to release Windows XP SP3 to the web.
No timeline was given, but everyone's hoping that the filtering process won't take too long. In the meantime, stop hitting the F5 (Refresh) key on your web browser, stop running Windows Update incessantly, and decide whether you want to wait for the official release of Windows XP SP3.