With more and more users having access to Windows XP SP3, what is the story of their experience? A horror story, it seems, with many users complaining of numerous issues post-install. The problems range from random blue-screens and reboots to crashes to issues with external storage and outright failed installs. This story isn't unique, with just about every service pack release causing havoc in some fashion or another. If you recall the releases of Vista SP1, XP SP2, XP SP1 and even further back, every service pack release has had some serious growing pains. There are no specific figures as to how widespread the issues are, but as they are discovered there will be more information on how to avoid having problems when upgrading.
The issues usually stem from trying to upgrade machines already in service, rather than installing it on new machines. Of course, the majority of people out there are not going to wipe their machines just to use SP3. One interesting note is SP3's refusal to install if you have any beta of IE8 installed. As these issues are tracked down, hopefully Microsoft will work to resolve them.