Windows XP SP3 Shows 10% Speed-Up: Report

Last week testers reported that Windows Vista SP1, at least in Release Candidate (RC) form, is still somewhat of a slowpoke.  Those same testers have run their suite against Windows XP SP3, and the results are quite different.

Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), the update scheduled to release next year, runs Microsoft Corp.'s Office suite 10% faster than XP SP2, a performance testing software developer reported Friday.

Devil Mountain Software, which earlier in the week claimed Windows Vista SP1 was no faster than the original, repeated some of the same tests on the release candidate of Windows XP SP3, the service pack recently issued to about 15,000 testers.

"We were pleasantly surprised to discover that Windows XP SP3 delivers a measurable performance boost to this aging desktop OS," said Craig Barth, Devil Mountain's chief technology officer, in a post to a company blog Friday.

Since Forrester Research has noted that XP remains Vista's biggest rival, what must Microsoft be thinking now?