January 2008... that's 14 months away, and it's the soonest, says Microsoft, that we can expect Service Pack 3 for Windows. Redmond has pushed back the Big Patch to the first half of '08
, which means, some analysts say, we may never see it at all. They remember how Microsoft totally dropped SP5 for Windows 2000 in favor of an "update rollup," which some say wasn't as thoroughly tested as a full-fledged Service Pack would have been. With the imminent release of Windows Vista, you might be wondering why any of this matters, but keep in mind that there are still millions of computers out there running Windows 98, and likewise XP is going to be hanging out on corporate networks for a long time to come. While Microsoft may eschew a third Service Pack, the hackers won't stop finding vulnerabilities and turning them into zombies. Some analysts see a bigger Vista connection: They say Microsoft is pushing back SP3 to give consumers and businesses a bigger incentive to buy their latest product.