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  (Source: Microsoft)

  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft spills the beans on Vista SP1

After months of leaks and speculation, Microsoft is finally ready to talk about Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Nick White, a product manager for Microsoft, posted today on the Windows Vista Team Blog that Vista SP1 will be released during the first quarter of 2008.

"We improve the Windows Vista experience by continuing to work closely with software partners to ensure application compatibility," said White. "We likewise align efforts with partners on the hardware side of the business to broaden the range of devices that work with Windows Vista and to constantly improve device driver quality."

"We didn’t design SP1 as a vehicle for releasing new features; however, some existing components do gain enhanced functionality in SP1," White added.

A new beta release of Vista SP1 is scheduled to be made available to a select group of testers during the first half of September. This is in addition to an even smaller pool of testers who have been testing a private beta of Vista SP1.

In keeping with its full disclosure on Vista SP1, Microsoft has posted a white paper on the SP1 beta. The white paper details the improvement that Microsoft has made in application compatibility and driver support as well as improvements to security and reliability.

The white paper also notes that there will be three ways of delivering Vista SP1:  Express, Stand-alone and Slipstream. The Express install will require a 50MB download from the Internet. System-specific updates will then be downloaded from Microsoft’s servers.

The Stand-alone package will be roughly 1GB in size for x86 systems. Customers, however, will be able to deploy SP1 to any Vista installation with the Stand-alone package and it will be compatible with the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 software.

Finally, Slipstream versions of Windows Vista with SP1 included will be made available to Volume Licensing Customers (and later in retail packaging). Microsoft does note, however, that "customers cannot apply SP1 to offline Windows Vista images." This could mean that customers will not able to make their own personal Slipstream copy of Windows Vista SP1 from an existing Windows Vista disc.

Installation of Windows Vista SP1 regardless of which method chosen will require a minimum of 7GB free disk space on x86 machines and 12GB free disk space on x64 machines. Microsoft does state that "most of this space will be reclaimed after installation."

As previously stated, Microsoft is targeting a Q1 2008 release time frame. That could change depending on a variety of factors according to Microsoft. "We’re first and foremost focused on delivering a high-quality release, so we'll determine the exact release date of SP1 after we have reached that quality bar," remarked White.

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By 3kliksphilip on 8/29/2007 1:09:59 PM , Rating: 3
I know how you feel. The latest games out have patches larger than their prequels (ie, BF2's 536MB patch- all the stuff is already in the game, isn't it? How on Earth can you have a CD of fixes? I feel sorry for the poor people hired to make the fixes. Can't be that rewarding).

The worst I've seen so far goes to Armed Assault, where you have to download a V1.05 466 MB patch, followed by another to get it up to the most recent 1.08 version- 565 MB extra!

It takes several hours to go from installing to playing the game.

Of course, Vista is an operating system, so the same rules don't apply. Just be pleased that we have Broadband in this day and age.

Any other stupid patches you can think of? X3: Reunion's is fairly hefty too, but at least it removes the Star Force protection system.

By swtethan on 8/29/2007 1:28:05 PM , Rating: 2
WoW patches, many of them!

By 16nm on 8/29/2007 3:34:57 PM , Rating: 1
Wow indeed. ;)

I just hope one of those enhancements to existing features taking up a good chunk of this 1GB will include adding HD-DVD playback in Media Center. I dread having to go the very buggy route of using Power DVD (and, let's be honest, having to fork out more dinero).

By Shawn on 8/30/2007 12:01:24 AM , Rating: 2
HDDVD playback in Media Center would be great. I sold my xbox 360 HD DVD drive and got a Toshiba HD-A2 instead because I couldn't play my movies in Media Center and because PowerDVD sucks.

By Christopher1 on 9/3/2007 8:48:21 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't have HD-DVD playback? I thought it did.

By Christopher1 on 9/3/2007 8:51:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, World of Warcraft is a big patch offender, but I really can give them a break because they are a MMO-RPG and some problems can come up on different systems and different hardware.

You also have to realize that World of Warcraft when you have an extremely big patch, it is usually adding something like the "Burning Crusade" portion of the game.
Believe me, the initial download for the whole game made my eyes pop out, even though I am on Cable internet. ~2GB's for the initial download. Shocking, but true.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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