Nothing too exciting here, but thought you all might want to know that XP SP3 and Vista SP1 are available from Microsoft Windows Update.
Field Guide to Windows XP SP3
For the most part, Microsoft is doing their best to avoid pulling Vista features into XP, with just a few exceptions. They are:
* Network Access Protection (NAP): A new system in Vista and Windows Server 2008, this feature sets system "health" requirements to validate a computer's health before it allows that computer to connect to yours.
* "Black Hole" Router Detection: This new feature detects when your router is silently losing or discarding packets and is intended to protect from such problems.
* Product Activation Not Required on Installation: Like Vista, you can now install XP without first providing a valid product key. Windows will prompt for a product key after installation, though, if you want to take advantage of Windows Genuine Advantage.
* Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module: In a nutshell, this Vista back-port makes it easier to encrypt data through a single algorithm. Enjoy that one!
Aside from these Vista back-port features, other new features include more descriptive security options that better explain your security settings and improved administrator security.
@Astro, Niner et al.: Feel free to merge this with this thread if you like.