Microsoft's long-awaited service pack for Windows Vista is
reported to be heading to consumers tomorrow. The RTM version of Windows Vista
Service Pack 1 (SP1) was first
released to testers in early February after a lengthy
Customers will have two ways to obtain SP1: a stand-alone
installer can be downloaded directly from Microsoft's Download Center or users
can get the update through Windows Update where it will be labeled as an
optional update. Systems that have drivers which are currently known to be
incompatible with SP1 will not be permitted to install the update.
"Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to
install Service Pack 1. Any system that Windows Update determines has a driver
known to not upgrade successfully will not be offered SP1," said
a Microsoft spokeswoman.
SP1 already caused
problems for some testers who installed the RTM version, so Microsoft is
likely trying to minimize a problematic launch for a larger consumer-based
rollout -- the last thing that Vista needs is more fuel added to the fire that
surrounds the operating system.
Customers will be able to purchase retail-packaged versions
of Windows Vista with SP1 already incorporated starting on Wednesday. Those who
pick up the retail versions will also take advantage of new, lower pricing that
introduced late last month.
Microsoft dropped the prices for Windows Vista Ultimate
(Full), Windows Vista Ultimate (Upgrade), and Windows Vista Home Premium
(Upgrade) to $319, $219, and $129 respectively. Interestingly enough,
Amazon.com offers even lower prices for the software on its site at $299.99,