It looks like Vista isn't the only OS Microsoft is working to improve, with the folks at Neosmart now reporting that a beta of Windows XP SP3 Build 3205 has been sent out to a select group of testers. Apparently, it includes more than a thousand patches and hotfixes, some of which have actually been backported from Windows Vista. Those include a new Windows Product Activation mode, which doesn't require you to enter a product key during setup, as well as new a network access protection module that replicates many of the features found in Vista. Other notable additions (to some) include a new Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module and so-called "Black Hole Router" detection, which protects against "rogue routers" attempting to discard data. All this, of course, follows the recent extension of XP sales until June of 2008, so it certainly seems that there's quite a bit of life left in the venerable OS that many are still clinging on to.

[Via Slashdot]

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Microsoft backports Vista features for new Windows XP SP3 beta