Windows XP SP3: Is it Needed?
Using Windows is like living in a high-crime neighborhood: You are never safe. SP3 enhances security and installs needed updates.
SP3 provides new features, mainly security enhancements developed for Vista, which may not be available as individual updates for XP.
On a few computers I updated, some previously loaded Critical Updates (to SP2) had not installed themselves fully. Others were never downloaded. SP3 detected these incomplete or missing updates and installed them.
Anyone who installs Service Pack 3 accepts a certain amount of risk (failure to install, loss of data, unanticipated problems due to incompatibilities, waste of time, etc.) However, not installing all of the recommended security enhancements is risky too.
While you will not notice it, SP3 will make your computer more secure. Moreover, any time you can increase the security of your Windows-based computer, you should seriously consider doing it.
PS: Contrary to earlier reports, SP3 will not speed up your computer. There is no noticeable performance change resulting from this update.
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