Microsoft is planning to give Windows XP users a number of new Windows Vista features in the forthcoming service pack.
Windows XP SP3 Beta (Build 3205) has just been released to testers and contains a number of useful features for businesses and consumers.
The Windows Product Activation model means users no longer have to enter product keys during set-up.
As expected, Network Access Protection modules and policies have been brought to XP after being one of the more well-received features in Windows Vista.
A new Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module provides easy access to multiple cryptographic algorithms and is available for use in kernel-mode drivers and services.
In addition, a "Black Hole Router" detection system can detect and protect against rogue routers that are discarding data.
Windows XP SP3 is compatible with all versions of Windows x86, including Embedded, Fundamentals, Start, Professional, Media Center, and Home Editions.
The final version of SP3 will be available early next year.