Even though Windows XP SP3 was released to manufacturing on April 21, 2008, this is not the end of the road for the latest and last service pack for XP. Just as is the case with Windows Vista Service Pack 1, the serving of XP SP3 is a complex process that will span until mid-2008. Chris Keroack, Release Manager, Windows Serviceability, revealed the April 21 RTM of XP SP3 and the April 29 availability via Windows Update and the Download Center, and that's about it. However, there is more to it.
Nick MacKechnie, Senior Technical Account Manager at Microsoft New Zealand managed to leak the detailed availability of XP SP3 by channel schedule. "Windows XP SP3 has been released to manufacturing as of April 21st (US Time) with the release to web planned for April 29th (US Time)," MacKechnie stated in a post that was subsequently taken down.
On April 29, Microsoft also offered XP SP3 RTM to its original equipment manufacturing partners, and is now preparing to deliver the service pack to an additional array of user segments. Keroack said that MSDN/Technet would not be able to get their hands on XP SP3 just yet, revealing that it "will be available within the next month. [And that] XP Embedded and Windows Fundamentals will be available at a later date."
MacKechnie however stated that XP SP3 RTM will be available for download for MSDN and TechNet subscribers starting with May 2, 2008. Additionally, Microsoft is gearing up to offer the Windows XP SP3 Fulfillment Media on May 19 and the gold bits of the service pack to its Volume License customers on June 1. As of June 10 the Redmond company will also start the distribution of XP SP3 RTM via Automatic Updates to all XP users.