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. This specific package also contains debugging symbols specific to binaries included in Service Pack 3.
Windows XP Service Pack 3 is a cumulative update of all previous service packs for XP. Otherwise it will prompt to install either XP SP1 or SP2. Since SP1 is no longer available for full download, it would need to be downloaded using Windows Update. The other option is to manually change the registry key, in essence fooling the installer into thinking SP1 is already installed.
- NX APIs for application developers to enable Data Execution Prevention for their code, independent of system-wide compatibility enforcement settings.
- Turns black hole router detection on by default.
- Support for SHA-2 signatures in X.509 certificates.
- Network Access Protection client.
- Group Policy support for IEEE 802.1X authentication for wired network adapters.
- Credential Security Support Provider.
- Descriptive Security options in Group Policy/Local Security Policy user interface.
- An updated version of the Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider Module.
Customers running Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) are advised to install a hotfix for a Microsoft Dynamics RMS issue prior to installing Windows XP SP3.
- Many additions, changes and corrections.