in late August that Microsoft was on the verge of
releasing a new beta of Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) to testers. The update,
as described by Microsoft's Nick White, is designed to enhance features already
incorporated within Vista rather than add new ones.
Testers that were selected to test SP1 should now have
access to the updates via Microsoft's
Connect website. Currently, the release is available in a 5-Language
Standalone Package as well as an All-Language Standalone Package (contains 36
The 5-Language version is available in an x86 version
(687MB) and x64 version (1,117MB) as is the All-Language version (1,308MB and
Beta testers will also have access to the SP1 beta through
Windows Update. "When SP1 shows up in Windows Update, it does so as an
"important update" and gives a size range from 51MB - 679.6MB,"
Brandon LeBlanc. "For me, the download of the service pack through
Windows Update occurred relatively fast so I assume the size of SP1 is more on
the lower end rather than the high."
The Windows Update feature is not currently available to
testers, but Microsoft says that access will be provided within the next 48
LeBlanc also mentions that there are noticeable improvements
to the performance of Vista with the SP1 update. "Improvements were also
noticeable in resuming from Hibernation or Sleep on both my desktop PC and
laptop running SP1," reported LeBlanc. "I discovered copying files
from one directory to another is a bit faster. And on my laptop - battery life
seems to be improved since running SP1. I have also noticed that transferring
files to my shares on my Windows Home Server are a bit faster than they were
previously without SP1. Overall performance in accessing my mapped network
shares is improved as well."
Microsoft notes that beta participants must have a valid
license key to install the SP1 update. Customers may also proceed with a 30-day
PID-less install and are given the opportunity to re-arm the system up to three
times (Microsoft provides instructions on how to re-arm the SP1 installation).