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
"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
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