Microsoft delivers release candidate version of Vista SP1 to consumers

Yesterday, Microsoft issued Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Office 2007 along with a Release Candidate version of Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Windows XP. Today, the boys from Redmond are turning their attention to Windows Vista.

Windows Vista users can now download a release candidate version of SP1 for the operating system. SP1 RC1 was released to a select group of testers last month, but this is the first time that the service pack has been opened up to the public.

SP1 includes numerous bugfixes and security updates introduced since the release of Vista on November 30, 2006. Also included are improvements to ReadyBoost, increased network performance, faster file copying and stepped-up anti-piracy measures.

Neowin also notes that improvements have been made to Vista's update engine including support for hotpatching:

  • Improves patch deployment by retrying failed updates in cases where multiple updates are pending and the failure of one update causes other updates to fail as well.
  • Enables reliable OS installation by optimizing OS installers so that they are run only when required during patch installation. Fewer installers operating results in fewer points of potential failure during installation, which leads to more robust and reliable installation.
  • Improves overall install time for updates by optimizing the query for installed OS updates.
  • Improves robustness during the patch installation by being resilient to transient errors such as sharing violations or access violations.
  • Improves robustness of transient failures during the disk cleanup of old OS files after install.
  • Improves the uninstallation experience for OS updates by improving the uninstallation routines in custom OS installation code.
  • Improves reliability of OS updates by making them more resilient to unexpected interruptions, such as power failure     

Service Pack 1 RC1 can be downloaded directly from Microsoft's website via a standalone package. Users can also choose to download a small 348KB applet which will use Windows Update do only download SP1 updates specific to your system.

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