The fact that it hasn't included Internet Explorer 7 as a default component of Windows XP SP3 has not stopped Microsoft from making available a new version of the browser as a standalone download accompanying the service pack's release. XP SP3 RTM Build 5512 was released to manufacturing on April 21, 2008, and made subsequently available for the general public on May 6, a week after the initial launch deadline set for April 29. The gold bits of XP SP3 are nothing more than a standard service pack, featuring a few minor enhancements, but nothing in terms of browsers, coming to the table with Internet Explorer 6, and not its successor.
But also on May 6, Microsoft delivered a new version of Internet Explorer 7, one tailored for the latest service pack for Windows XP. IE7-WindowsXP-x86-enu.exe is, as the download label implies, the 32-bit edition of Internet Explorer 7, designed to integrate seamlessly with both Windows XP SP2 and SP3 RTM. Microsoft has failed to reveal if it has evolved IE7 for XP SP3 in any way, but most likely the changes are exclusively under the hood tweaks set up to adapt the browser to the service pack and nothing more. One clue pointing to such a scenario is the fact that the build number remained the same as the one introduced with the updated version of IE7 stripped of the Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy mechanism back in October 2007, namely 7.0.5730.13.
"Internet Explorer 7 has been designed to make everyday tasks easier, provide dynamic security protection and improve the development platform and manageability. End user improvements include a streamlined interface, tabbed browsing, printing advances, improved search functionality, instant feeds (RSS), dynamic security protection, and more," Microsoft revealed in the browser's description. "This download is for Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Service Pack 3 only." Emphasis added.
Earlier this week, Microsoft made public guidelines for handling the deployment of XP SP3 on top of XP SP2 copies with IE7 or IE8 Beta 1. Installing XP SP3 on XP SP2 machines with either of the two editions of the browser makes it impossible to remove both IE7 or IE8 Beta 1. Read more about this here.
Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP SP3 RTM is available for download here.
Windows XP SP3 RTM can be grabbed here.