A new "Refresh" version of Windows XP Service Pack 3 Release Candidate 2 was made available Tuesday on Microsoft Update, according to Microsoft representatives.
The primary goal of the release is for its developers to validate improvements to the Windows Update procedure, but a couple of minor additions were also included. As with the previous RC2, you need to download and run a small program available from Microsoft Download Center that makes a registry change on your PC in order for the update to be offered.
Microsoft does not recommend using this still-beta version for mission-critical computing. The Refresh includes rollups of all previous updates, "as well as functionality that make it easier for enterprises to co-manage both Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista PCs within same corporate environment," according to Microsoft. The only other notable enhancement over the earlier XP SP3 RC2 is the inclusion of support for HD Audio.
More information on this development can be found at Microsoft TechNet. According to the related post there, this lastest release is designated Build 5508 and the earlier XP SP3 RC2 is Build 3311. The release is available in English, German, and Japanese. Microsoft Windows XP SP3 is scheduled for full release in the first half of 2008, and many industry analysts expect it to happen in April.
Source: PC Magazine