Microsoft: Vista SP1 Demand Behind XP SP3 Delay

In an email to ChannelWeb, a spokesperson said Microsoft expects to make XP SP3 available for download to TechNet and MSDN subscribers on May 2, three days after it begins distributing XP SP3 via Windows Update and the Download Center.

"To meet high customer demand for Windows Vista Service Pack 1, we have optimized available bandwidth and prioritized MSDN/TechNet delivery channels for Windows Vista SP1 downloads in all Windows languages. Once we have satisfied this demand, we will roll out Windows XP SP3 via MSDN/TechNet," the spokesperson said.

MSDN subscribers will receive an integrated build of Windows XP SP3 in addition to the standalone XP SP3 release that all customers receive via Windows Update, according to the spokesperson. Microsoft has yet to determine the timetable for distributing XP SP3 to its volume licensing subscribers.

In a Monday post to Microsoft's TechNet forums, Chris Keroack, Windows XP SP3 release manager, announced that XP SP3 would be available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers "within the next month," and also revealed that Windows XP Embedded and Windows Fundamentals will be available "at a later date."

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It's deja vu all over again for Microsoft, which in February was excoriated by angry partners after announcing it was holding off on releasing Vista SP1 until mid-March because of device driver issues, a decision the software giant eventually reversed.

Unsurprisingly, news of the XP SP3 delay didn't go over well with MSDN and TechNet subscribers, many of whom vented their frustrations publicly in Microsoft's TechNet forums.

"I am going to be very clear with this. It is a very bad policy of your organization to not allow people who pay hundreds of dollars (including myself) to be able to download releases such as this," wrote one poster.

"I've had it with paying for access to YOUR products to support YOUR customers only to be slapped in the face like this," another poster fumed. "How did the ones who help support Microsoft products now become the enemy?"