64-Bit Windows XP Service Pack 3?

Don't think so... at least for now

Just in case that you were holding your breath while waiting for Service Pack 3 for Windows XP on 64-bit architectures, you can now exhale. No, the service pack is not here. And the fact of the matter is that it's going to be quite a wait until Microsoft will deliver an equivalent to SP3 for x64 XP. The Redmond company is currently cooking the third and final service pack for Windows XP, but just the 32-bit version of the operating system, the one made available all the way back in 2001. Users should not expect the Redmond company to release SP3 for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition by mid 2008, because that will definitely not be the case.

Microsoft gave official confirmation of this in the Overview of Windows XP Service Pack 3 whitepaper: "Windows XP SP3 is for x86 editions of Windows XP only." Now, the truth is that 32-bit XP and 64-bit XP are separate products made available four years apart, as Microsoft released Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition in April 2005, after Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (March 2005) and Windows XP Service Pack 2 (August 2004).

And on top of this, the company has just introduced the second service pack for Windows Server 2003, also updating x64 XP. "The x64 editions of Windows XP were serviced by Windows Server 2003 SP2", Microsoft added in the Overview of Windows XP Service Pack 3. In March 2007, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 was released for download, addressing the following operating systems: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 SP1, Windows Storage Server R2, Windows Unified Data Storage Server, Windows Compute Cluster Server, Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2, and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

In June 2007, Microsoft dropped Windows Server 2003 SP2 via Automatic Updates. But this does not mean that Microsoft will not end up delivering another service pack for x64 XP, although all the company has to say on a potential deadline is that it is still to be determined, according to an excerpt from the Windows Service Pack Road Map web page.

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