The Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) RTM Network Installation Package is just one piece of the Final XP SP3
puzzle made available for download by Microsoft. The third and last service pack for Windows XP comes in a variety of flavors
designed to address specific needs. While the standalone build dropped via Windows Update is Microsoft's officially recommended XP SP3 version for updating XP machines, end users have additional options at their disposal. Windows XP Service Pack 3 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers is simply just one of them.
As the label of the package reveals, the release is aimed at IT professionals, developers and system administrators. Unlike the standalone variant which is essentially designed for updating a single computer, the XP SP3 RTM Network Installation Package is tailored to scenarios where the service pack has to be deployed on multiple XP-based machines.
"This installation package is intended for IT professionals and developers downloading and installing on multiple computers on a network. If you're updating just one computer, please visit Windows Update. Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) includes all previously released updates for the operating system. This update also includes a small number of new functionalities, which do not significantly change customers' experience with the operating system," Microsoft noted in the description of the package.
The Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers is by no means a new addition to the XP SP3 lineup of downloads. In fact, Windows XP SP2 also came to the table in this version. Packaging XP SP3 in this manner means that end users will only have to download the service pack once and perform installations as frequently as they want or on as many computers as needed, enjoying added flexibility to the deployment process.
Windows XP Service Pack 3 Network Installation Package for IT Professionals and Developers weighs in at 316.4 MB and is available for download here