The XP SP3 Installation Green Light
The May 6, 2008 Red Light:
A number of seasoned computer experts advised Windows XP users to hold off 1-2 months before installing Service Pack 3.
Did they need a detailed knowledge of SP3 to offer that sound advice? Not really. Based on prior experience with previous updates, it was safe to assume it will take Microsoft approximately 6-8 weeks to discover and fix most of SP3's unexpected installation and compatibility problems.
The Green Light:
There's a related Green Light rule of thumb for computer owners to install SP3 with less risk (provided they make the proper preparations). The green light will be given by Microsoft on the day it starts to distribute SP3 via Automatic Updates.
I recommended waiting until the third week in June before installing SP3. Given the experience of thousands of XP computer owners, my "Red Light" rule of thumb was right. Only time will tell if proceeding on my proposed "green light" was a wise decision.
And don't forget the yellow light: Proceed with caution.
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