Microsoft releases Vista SP1 to manufacturing

With roughly a year under its belt in the consumer space, it's time for Vista to get a tune-up. As was the case with Windows 2000 and Windows XP before it, that tune-up comes in the form of Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Microsoft took great strides to improve application compatibility, driver support, security and reliability with SP1. Other improvements include 50% faster file copying and faster resume speeds.

Microsoft issued a steady stream of beta and release candidate (RC) versions of Vista SP1 over the past six months, but today Microsoft is finally putting its gold seal on the RTM version of Vista SP1. Although SP1 went gold today, it will not be available until March.

SP1 will first be available in five languages (English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese) from either Windows Update or a as a direct download from Users who are running systems with problematic drivers will not be offered the SP1 download via Windows Update according to Mike Nash, Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Windows Product Management.

The next phase of the SP1 roll-out will begin in 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,” said Nash.  “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.”

Windows Vista was released to manufacturing on November 30, 2006. Microsoft then followed up with a consumer launch on January 30, 2007. The operating system hasn't exactly won over as many people as Microsoft would like, but sales of Microsoft's latest consumer operating system remain brisk.

The steady sales are due in part to strong sales of notebooks and desktop PCs which more often than not come pre-loaded with Vista.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini

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