Microsoft spreads Service Pack love to testers

Microsoft announced last week that it completed work on Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) and released it to manufacturing. Unfortunately for consumers, Microsoft also announced that that the update wouldn't be available to consumers until around March.

However, current beta testers for SP1 will be glad to know that they can download the service pack right now. Microsoft makes SP1 available for download in a number of ways.

Testers can download a single .exe file with the SP1 update in x86 (Windows6.0-KB936330-X86-wave0.exe) or x64 (Windows6.0-KB936330-X64-wave0.exe) flavors. The next option is to download a registry file which gives testers access to SP1 via Windows Update. The third and final way that testers can install SP1 -- x86 and x64 versions -- is via a standalone ISO installer which allows the service pack to easily be installed on multiple machines via a CD.

Microsoft lists the build version for SP1 as 6001.18000.080118-1840.

In other Windows news, the still popular Windows XP operating system is getting another update courtesy of Microsoft's Connect website. The Redmond, Washington-based company uploaded Windows XP SP3 Release Candidate 2 (RC2) for beta testers to try out.

The Windows XP SP3 RC2 update is available in five languages and weighs in at about 315MB for the English version.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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