Ever wonder why Microsoft releases these sorts of major updates via manual update first? Well, if you've been reading along, you know why (and we've seen more than one example of why). However, Windows XP SP3, after its initial fits and starts, is nearly ready to hit automatic distribution via Windows Update.
This was revealed in an MSDN blog post by Nick MacKechnie, senior technical account manager at Microsoft New Zealand:
Microsoft is committed to providing quality products to customers. As part of this commitment, we would like to remind you that Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) will be released to Automatic Updates shortly. The third service pack to Windows XP includes the previously released updates and hotfixes to Windows XP, creating a new baseline for servicing.
While this post is rather vague about timing, the word is now that XP SP3 will release to automatic updates on 7/10 (Thursday). We would say, however, that based on how well Microsoft did with the Windows Vista Compatibility Site (still down as of Wednesday morning), we'll see ...