Steve Ballmer earlier hinted that Microsoft might ship Windows XP SP3 before Vista. But Windows Vista is now the priority for the development teams at Microsoft and Windows XP SP3 will be available sometime in 2006 only after the launch of Vista. This was revealed by Bernard Ourghanlian, technical and security director at Microsoft France

No details have been received on the contents of the update, although it may include a version of WinFX being fine-tuned for the now four year-old version of Windows.

Microsoft Windows XP SP3

This is not exciting news for Microsoft fans but atleast the company has confirmed for the first time that there will be a SP3 for Windows XP. Previously, Microsoft won't even officially confirm that there will be a Service Pack 3, saying the next update could be a collection of already released patches, known as an Update Rollup, similar to what the company did with Windows 2000.

Despite that stance, though, many patches posted on Microsoft's Web site do note that they're slated to be part of Service Pack 3.