Microsoft last Friday released a test version of Windows XP Service Pack 3 to beta testers.
The update is expected to be publically released in the first half of next year.
"We are targeting (the first half of) 2008 for the release of XP SP3," Microsoft said, "though our timing will always be based on customer feedback as a first priority."
The Service pack 3 update is mainly focused on bug fixes and performance improvements rather than new features. However, Microsoft the SP3 final release is expected to follow the corresponding SP1 update for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system, since Microsoft tries to encourage users to migrate to its latest OS.