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Will Microsoft's new service pack reinvigorate Vista sales on the eve of Windows 7?

Microsoft is preparing new service packs for Windows Vista and its server counterpart, Windows Server 2008.  The pair of service packs, according to sources, will likely land before the release of Windows 7 which is set to debut in late 2009 or early 2010.  Microsoft confirmed that the project was in the works, with a Vista spokesman saying, "Microsoft is working on a second Windows Vista service pack (Windows Vista SP2) and will share more details in the coming months."

Windows Vista already saw the release of its first service pack in May of this year.  The first release was marred by compatibility difficulties, which forced Microsoft to take it offline for a short time.  Amid slower than-hoped-for adoption growth, Microsoft launched a reinvigorated push to convince people to adopt Windows Vista, highlighted by its "I'm a PC" commercials.

Reports indicate that Microsoft is hard at work preparing the second generation service packs, to help further this new campaign.  It has reportedly delivered a beta of the Vista pack to select hardware and software partners.  This is similar to its current distribution method for early builds of Windows 7.  Microsoft also posted a placeholder article for Vista SP2 on its Knowledge Base site.

Details on the new packs are scarce, but sources with Microsoft say that the biggest deliverable for the Server version will be the integration of Hyper-V bits with it.  Sources also say the reason Microsoft is pushing to release the pack before Windows 7 is to limit confusion about whether to upgrade to Windows 7 or choose the newly more functional Vista.

The service pack for Windows Server 2008 will also reportedly be called SP2, despite it being the first service pack for the OS.  This because Windows Server 2008 was built on Vista with the SP1 service pack included.  Still, the first real service pack for the server OS will be an essential boost as many corporate partners are hesitant to buy an OS without service packs.

Microsoft is remaining tight-lipped about the server SP2 as well, except to acknowledge that its coming soon.  A Microsoft spokesperson stated, "[The] comment [on Vista] serves for Windows Server as well; Microsoft is not commenting further on the timing/release plans for the WS08 SP2 at this time, but will share more details in the coming months."

The Beta 1 releases for the two SP2s are expected within the next couple months.  This will put some pressure on Microsoft's developer team to quickly complete the service pack, as the Windows 7 Beta 1 is slated for mid-December release.

It is rumored that Microsoft may be including some aspects of Windows 7's functionality into Vista via the new service packs.

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RE: Limit confusion?
By Omega215D on 10/18/2008 5:51:00 AM , Rating: 3
I too have a full version of Vista but I got it cheaper through my university. It's handy having one Vista DVD which allows me to do a clean install on one machine and an upgrade on another without having any activation issues and both do update without a problem as well.

To those saying that you need 2GB to run Vista I can inform you all that it runs fine on 1GB. When I got my MacBook it only shipped with 1GB of RAM and I installed Vista Home Premium on it and it ran smoothly but more RAM always helps. In fact OSX 10.5 also loves RAM as it uses almost all of it when I pull up System Monitor.

Maybe people buying laptops with Vista pre-installed are dealing with the crapware loaded on to the system in order for that laptop to be offered at a low price.

RE: Limit confusion?
By just4U on 10/18/2008 1:50:19 PM , Rating: 2
I think the key point people are missing is while it runs fine on 1G of ram .. it loves memory and runs better with 2 and 4Gig configurations. The same held true with XP. Sure it ran ok with 256meg on launch but 512 - 1G and 2G it ran even better, so naturally people recommend more ram. And really why not? It's cheap.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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