The company has now released the latest test version of XP SP3 to testers. It has been made available to around 15,000 testers.
They are scheduled to ship it to public sometime early next year. Microsoft is incidentally also scheduled to ship the first service pack for the Vista OS around the same time.
Microsoft said in a statement that they are planning for a wider public test release of XP SP3 before launching the final edition.
Both of these upcoming service pack editions are focused on security fixes and enhanced performance rather than adding new features to the operating system.