We're always a little wary of unconfirmed speed reports derived from beta software -- especially when no build number is given -- but a Florida shop called Devil Mountain Systems is claiming that Windows XP SP3 will offer a 10 percent speed increase over SP2, going so far as to call it a "must-have update." On the flip side of the coin, it looks like Vista SP1
won't offer much in the way of noticeable fixes, and certainly won't speed things up. Of course, it's not at all unexpected that the finely-tuned XP would run faster than the relatively new Vista, but analysts are having a field day, with Forrester's Benjamin Gray saying "Vista's biggest competition isn't Apple or Novell or Red Hat; it's Microsoft itself, it's XP." That seems a little hysterical to us, actually -- Microsoft deserves major props for continuing to improve XP even as it tries to speed up the transition to Vista, even if that means cannibalizing some sales. That said, let's try to get a little speed out of SP2, mkay?