Microsoft has quietly shipped a beta for Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3 to 300 testers, according to C-NET. This is the first time Microsoft has beta-tested a service pack: the change in policy was brought about by the numerous bugs and problems users encountered with SP2. Microsoft has already uploaded several "post-SP2" hot fixes and patches since its release. Windows NT magazine in particular has been a major critic of Microsoft's service packs, explaining that NT is for mission-critical use: it _has_ to work. Introducing buggy service packs only dilutes the NT name and raises questions about Microsoft's ability to serve the Enterprise.
The new service pack includes support for the Viper message queuing technology and a new encryption API