While Apple is using its latest round of TV commercials to further push the butcher knife into Windows Vista -- specifically, Microsoft's decision to extend the sales of Windows XP and allow users to downgrade Vista to Windows XP -- the boys in Redmond are hard at work on the first service pack for the operating system.
Microsoft released the Service Pack 1 (SP1) beta to a select group of testers in late September. The update cured many of the ailments that afflicted Windows Vista since its retail release on January 30.
"Improvements were also noticeable in resuming from Hibernation or Sleep on both my desktop PC and laptop running SP1," remarked Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc in September. "I discovered copying files from one directory to another is a bit faster. And on my laptop - battery life seems to be improved since running SP1. I have also noticed that transferring files to my shares on my Windows Home Server are a bit faster than they were previously without SP1. Overall performance in accessing my mapped network shares is improved as well."
Yesterday, Microsoft released a new Release Candidate (RC) build (6001-17042-071107-1618) of SP1 to testers. The latest build weighs in at 434.84MB for the x86 version and 734.3MB for the x64 version.
Testers who already have the previous SP1 beta installed, however, will run into somewhat of a roadblock when it comes to the new RC build.
"Windows Vista SP1 does not support build-to-build upgrades," states Microsoft. "Therefore, if you have installed a previously release build on your machine, you have to uninstall this old build before installing the next build of Windows Vista SP1."
Windows Vista SP1 RC is currently available for download from the Microsoft Connect website for current SP1 testers.