Microsoft has reached the end of the road when it comes down to the evolution of Windows XP through major updates. Moving onward, the Redmond company will focus exclusively on Windows Vista and Windows 7 with service pack releases. Specifically, if you are running Windows XP and still hoping for an SP, then by all means, don’t hold your breath. Or, if you were indeed holding your breath, then this is about the right time to exhale and move beyond the aging operating system. Windows 7 is now just a few days short of one month away, seeing how general availability is planned for October 22nd, 2009.

No more service packs for Windows XP, what does it mean? It means that SP3 was the last service pack for 32-bit (x86) XP and the SP2 was the last major update for 64-bit (x64). Immediately after the availability of SP3 for x86 XP, Microsoft confirmed officially that it was the last service pack for Windows Vista’s precursor. However, a potential SP3 seemed to be in the cards as far as x64 XP was concerned.

In fact, this is not the case at all. Microsoft offered official confirmation of the fact that it was not, nor would it be in the future, developing a third service pack for 64-bit XP. “We have received inquiries from our customers and partners on whether or not there will be a need for a Service Pack 3 for Windows Server 2003. More »

New storage features have come to Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Windows XP SP3 and releases of the Windows Server platforms. Windows Feature Pack for Storage 1.0 was released to web (RTW) and is now available for download and integration with the supported operating systems. This is the finalized version of Windows Feature Pack for Storage 1.0, with Microsoft cooking the pack since 2008. In fact, in August 2008, the Redmond company was dropping a pre-release version of the solution via Microsoft Connect.

“The Windows Feature Pack for Storage 1.0 includes the following features: Image Mastering API Update for Blu-Ray Media – this feature enables the Windows platform to do master style optical burning on Blu-Ray media. Smart Card Driver – this release provides support for new form factors, such as ICCD,” Microsoft revealed.

“The following system requirements are necessary to install the Windows Feature Pack for Storage 1.0 – the system must be running one of the following operating systems: More »