Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Out Next Week

If you have been waiting for Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista, well, you can now mark your calender. We just received word that Microsoft has scheduled Windows Vista Service Pack 1 for release to manufacturer (RTM) on Monday, February 4, 2008. That’s just 3 days away! The OEMs will also receive Windows Vista Service Pack 1 during that week.

Microsoft will be deploying Service Pack 1 in two “waves“. Wave 0, which is the one released on February 4, will only include five languages – English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese. The second wave, Wave 1, is scheduled for release 1-2 weeks later, and will cover all 36 basic languages, including Chinese.
Microsoft claims Windows Vista SP1 will provide key improvements on the security, performance and reliability of Windows Vista by providing :

  • All previously released updates since RTM
  • Performance and reliability improvements in core scenarios such as file copy, network browsing, and improved response time to resume from sleep.
  • Support for new types of hardware, and several emerging standards.
  • There are improvements to the administration experience. One of the most important changes we’re making is that BitLocker now supports encrypting for multiple volumes.

Of course, Service Pack 1 will also disable two common methods of hacking Windows Vista, namely the OEM BIOS exploit and the Grace Timer exploit.

For more information, take a look at our article, What’s New In Windows Vista Service Pack 1?

Note : Please remember that this editorial is talking about Microsoft releasing Service Pack 1 to manufacturing (RTM). It does not necessarily mean Microsoft will be releasing Service Pack 1 to the public. Of course, we hope that would be the case, but that is not necessarily the case. It is entirely possible that Microsoft only intends to release Service Pack 1 to the OEMs for now, as well as to start churning out upgraded versions of Windows Vista. The public release could possibly be delayed until Wave 1, when full support for all languages are available. OEMs will definitely get Service Pack 1 this week.

February 4th Update

I hate to say it but we were right! Microsoft has officially released Service Pack 1 to manufacturing (RTM). Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista is FINAL! You can check out their announcement (a rather long one!) here.

As we noted above, RTM does not necessarily mean a public release. OEMs would certainly start getting it this week and Microsoft would start making upgraded versions of Windows Vista. Fortunately, Microsoft has decided to be more forthcoming about when they would actually make the upgrade public. Check it out :

  • In mid-March, we will release Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Update (in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese) and to the download center on  Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1.  If Windows Update determines that the system has one of the drivers we know to be problematic, then Windows Update will not offer SP1.  Since we know that some customers may want to update to SP1 anyhow, the download center will allow anyone who wants to install SP1 to do so.
  • In mid-April, we will begin delivering Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Vista customers who have chosen to have updates downloaded automatically.  That said, any system that Windows Update determines has a driver known to not update successfully will not get SP1 automatically.  As updates for these drivers become available, they will be installed automatically by Windows Update, which will unblock these systems from getting Service Pack 1.  The result is that more and more systems will automatically get SP1, but only when we are confident they will have a good experience.
  • The remaining languages will RTM in April.

So there you have it. Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is final and out there. It’s just a matter of time before it’s released to public, one way or another.


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