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  1. Yes, there is a very compelling reason people stay with SP2, and here it is: we don't know if SP3 will screw up our version of Windows or add more bloat, and we can't upgrade to SP3, because more than likely it will break our copy of Windows. I work as a PC tech fixing dozens of peoples computers, and most of the time its a dead harddrive and the fix is to install a replacement harddrive and reinstall Windows. Bear with me, because I'll tell you why... the version of XP I end up reinstalling is a cracked version of Windows XP with Service Pack 2 for Developers. Yes, these people have a legitimate licence to windows... the sticker with the code is right there on their computer from when they bought their computer. Is it usable by me to reinstall Windows? No. Because the CDs that came with the computer don't come in with the computer, or are long gone. I suspect Windows CDs are batch coded to the keycode they are shipped with, and one Windows CD that uses one batch of keycodes will not work with another batch that uses another. Its infuriating. Further, you've got keycodes that were Windows Upgrade CDs (say from 98), that won't work will the full version CD, and the reverse, and so on. Its a bloody nightmare trying to go through a batch of a dozen different Windows XP install CDs in the hopes you'll find one that matches their legitimate keycode, and more often than not you are wasting your time. In short, if you don't have the same Windows CD that came with the keycode, you're out of luck. So even though they have a legitimate licence to XP, you install a cracked version of XP because all they care about is getting a working computer again. The cracked version I have, you can get away with installing the SP2 upgrade for Developers onto it without breaking the crack (the regular SP2 upgrade will ruin it). Therefore, SP2 is as high as I go. I'm sure somewhere out there on the torrents there are probably cracked XP installs with SP3 rolled into it, but I don't have the time or money to hunt this down... SP2 does everything everybody needs it to. Nothing out there requires SP3 as far as I've encountered yet. I wouldn't even install SP2 at all because of the bloat it adds, but there's a lot of infuriating software (IM clients) that require it. I am shocked that an installer program would even require it, let alone an installer program requiring SP3 be installed. I mean, and installer just... copies and installs files and makes perhaps registry entries. Why would you need a bunch of hotfixes and patches be present to copy files and add registry entries??? Of course, I install Paint.NET on all these fresh virgin computers, because it rocks, as well as other awesome freeware software... Firefox, Opera, Safari, Mozilla, Pidgin, Filezilla, Videolan, OpenOffice. Paint.NET is intuitive and just does everything right... all the other paint programs I've tried (Photoshop, The Gimp) though they have some awesome effects plugins, are infuriating to use. I will do all my work in Paint.NET, and only dip into those programs when I want to use one of their effects... do the effect, and bring it right back into Paint.NET. I actually understand layers in Paint.NET. The only thing I don't like about it is you can't dock the tiny tools, layers, color window wheel, all those little windows, inside the Window of the picture you are working on (like old school MacPaint). Its frustrating when you have a million windows and pictures you are editing on at one time on the screen to find these little windows buried somewhere when you are looking right at the window with the graphic you are editing. Where is the Tools or Layers Window Tool for this graphic. If you have the other Graphics programs open too, which have their own floating Tools windows, its very easy to get lost visually. If you required SP3, I could no longer bundle Paint.NET on these new computers, because it would be the only program I've ever run across that required it, and so unfortunatly being the odd software out, it would get the ax. There are other computer techs like me in the same situation... so don't think that computers with cracked versions of XP are not worth supporting, because there are way more of them out there than you can imagine... which all should be legitimate reinstalls of Windows but could never be done so because of time and money. Its a thousand times simpler just to put the same cracked XP version with SP2 on it to fix all these computer than to try and get the CDs from these people and do it the way Microsoft wants you to do it. You know these people had a legitimate version of Windows because they bought it from the store with Windows XP on it, its got a sticker right on the computer that says so, and even the keycode more often than not. But all these 'fixed' computers that come through the shop are plateued at SP2. I tell them, don't update... and I delete the automatic update link in the menu...
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