In a letter just sent to testers, "Final testing is complete and at 10:08am this morning we signed off on build 2180 as Windows XP Service Pack 2, releasing it to manufacturing. The final build will be available to beta sites immediately at http://windowsbeta.microsoft.com/download/dl3.asp. You will find both English and German versions there, Japanese will follow early next week.
Next week the service pack will be available on the Microsoft Download Center for general download. In the interim we're making the update available to you via the beta web site.
If you are running RC2, or any other build released to beta sites, we invite you to turn on Automatic Updates, and starting on August 10th your system will automatically download the express version of Windows XP SP2. For typical home users this is about a 75 MB download; for those on RC2 it should be less than 30 MB. "
As soon as the background download is complete, you will be prompted to install SP2 and to accept the EULA (SP2 does not install automatically even if Automatic Updates is set to automatically install security updates). If you have a modem connection, don't "Cancel" the update once it's in progress; just disconnect and when you reconnect later, it will automatcially pick up where it left off until it completes.
For the next 2 weeks the beta newsgroups will still be available to you. We'll be in the newsgroups and hope you'll discuss your experience with early SP2 deployments there. On August 18th the newsgroups will close and we'll move on to finding and fixing the bugs in Windows 2003 Server SP1.
Thanks for all your time and effort in driving the quality high in SP2 and finding those tricky issue that only seem to occur in the wild and never under laboratory conditions.