Microsoft Corp. said today that it would post the release candidate of Windows XP Service Pack 3 to its download site tonight.
The move marks the first opportunity for all users of the six-year-old operating system to try out its final upgrade. Previously, several thousand users were given access to test builds of SP3 only by Microsoft's invitation.
According to a company spokeswoman, the version that debuts today, dubbed a "release candidate" to note progress from earlier betas, will be available from the Microsoft Download Center. She was unable, however, to say when the service pack would post to Windows Update so users can download and install it with the company's update service.