More stories reaching us about the appearance of Windows XP Service Pack 3 floating around the Net, even although Microsoft still won't confirm that it will release it. Seemingly, heading over to The Hotfix will enable you to get hold of this, if you are feeling brave enough to install it. Personally, I'm not.

Ethan Allen, creator and administrator of The Hotfix, said Wednesday that he assembled the preview pack from software updates sent by an internal Microsoft source that are expected to be released in SP3.

The updates include Windows log-on improvements and features that fix current problems with connecting Windows XP computers to various networks.
Although it's very possible that installing this on to your XP machine will not do any harm, it's probably not a very good idea to install an unofficial service pack. There is some speculation that Microsoft will release a real XP service pack 3 after the next version of the client OS, Windows Vista. This will likely contain some Vista technologies for use in XP, so it's best probably to wait for that - that's if it will really happen, since Microsoft still hasn't decided whether to release SP3.

"We have not confirmed plans for a Service Pack 3 for Windows XP yet," said Michael Burk, product manager for Windows Vista. "At this point, the Windows servicing team is reviewing the feedback on Windows XP SP2 and is still evaluating timing and alternatives for the next Windows XP servicing release."