While Microsoft is seemingly on a crusade to stamp out talk about the future (even going so far as to hire an acting legend to detect "MS-BS" with a $2 horn), that hasn't waned our enthusiasm for digging up evidence of the future anyways.
Microsoft has pulled some pretty dumb moves lately in the name of secrecy; the lid on SP1 and the press release about "Windows Seven" being the most obvious to come to mind. But mere days after someone spotted a running build of SP1 at WinHEC 07, Long Zheng has discovered the first written by none other than Microsoft itself.
AFAIK, SP1 is still on track to be delivered simultaneously with Windows Server 2008. It's far enough away from Vista's RTM and close enough away to shipping that Microsoft should confirm its existence. In fact, beta testers should be given builds in the next month or so to start testing. And since it's shipping in the next 5 months or so, Microsoft should start giving guidance for all those companies (Intel, I'm looking at you) who are holding off until SP1 to deploy Vista.
Hey Microsoft, we all know it exists. It's time to quit playing dumb before you start looking stupid. You're gonna have to let the cat out of the bag sometime. And June sounds like a good month to do it.
UPDATE: This is the last time I'm going to talk about Microsoft and openness for a little while, because apparently it's getting old. My point is this: Longhorn was not as great as everyone thinks it was. If Microsoft hadn't opened up as much as it had as early as it did, we'd be dealing with WinFS right now, and our lives would be miserable.
Instead of shutting us down about SP1, there is nothing wrong with saying "SP1 exists, and work is in full swing. We know you're excited about it, but we don't have anything to report right now. However, sometime in the next 8 weeks, we're going to start releasing more information about it. It's going to be actively beta tested by some of the same people that helped shape Vista, and we're gonna want lots of feedback to make sure your experience with SP1 is even better than Vista." They might even say "We know you're concerned about the amount of information we release before a product launch, and we're going to try to find a happy medium. We need to talk about stuff later than we did with Vista, but not too late that we can't actively respond to customer feedback."
Saying things like that IMO would go a long way towards placating some of the people (like myself) who are worried that Microsoft has changed course without letting us know, and is ok with dragging everyone behind in their wake. And I'm sorry if I was not clear on that up to this point.