Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Windows Vista SP1 This Week? Don't Hold Your Breath

So by now most of you are waiting with baited breath for the Windows Vista SP1 release that was supposedly due out this week. Well, you can breathe now. Microsoft PR put out a notice on to the Windows Featured Communities forum today that, contrary to the rumors circulating around the 'net, Windows Vista SP1 will not be put into beta this week. If I were a betting man, I wouldn't count on it anytime in this month. But that's just me, and I've been wrong before.

So if the beta is released in the next couple months, and the service pack RTMs at the end of the year, how can the beta period be so short? Won't they need lots of feedback? Well, it's simple really... a decent part of the SP1 code will be the same code that's in Windows Server 2008, and that is being tested very heavily right now. In fact, if you download the June CTP of Windows Server 2008 and turn the Desktop Experience Pack on, you can basically enjoy much of what you'll see in Windows Vista SP1 at this very moment (save for the media experiences and such).

I'm not going to say anything more about it than this: you can say it was "delayed" or whatever if you want (and I'm sure the blogosphere will), but the thing about Microsoft's new tight-lipped policy is that you can't say something has been officially delayed if an official release date has not been announced. What was stated was an unconfirmed rumor, nothing more, nothing less. Which is why I haven't chimed in until now.

So I hate to disappoint, but you can stop hitting F5 on Connect every 5 seconds now. When something is officially announced, you'll see it here.



  • July 19, 2007 1:10 PM
  • You ask, "How can the beta period be so short?" I can't tell you what the Vista SP1 team is thinking, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the Vista SP1 team is getting pressure to get "bits" out (even a beta release) in the hands of enterprise customers ASAP.  I would speculate that in the confused minds of some decision-makers inside Microsoft, there's a belief that the sooner their enterprise customers get something stamped "Vista SP1" in their hands, the sooner Microsoft can "convince" them to stop delaying deployment and get on with upgrading to Vista already.  Under such circumstances, a Beta program for Vista SP1 would be much less an exercise in getting feedback from customers and responding to customer-generated bugs, and much more about prodding those customers to stop harping on "SP1, SP1".

    Personally though, I don't see it making a big difference in deployments pre-RTM of SP1.  With Vista being as unstable and non-performant as I keep reading (and what I've observed on my own system), there's little chance that the risk-averse enterprise customer would feel *more* assured of the viability of Vista for their Windows users by a *Beta* version of a Service Pack.  Heck, if the stability of Vista in the run-up to RTM is any indication, SP1 won't stabilize (especially given a very aggressive schedule) until a few weeks before its own RTM - even despite the possibility that they'd ignore 99% of bugs reported by Beta customers.

    July 19, 2007 5:11 PM
  • Mike,

    I have to disagree with you, almost completely. Testing is going on evern before SP1 is released with the Windows Server 2008 testers (of which I am one of them). Much of SP1 and WS2008 is the same code, so the feedback we give on WS2008 often gets checked into the same tree, unless we run into a server-only issue.

    I think the beta of SP1 is going to be just as rock-solid as the CTPs of WS2008 have been for a majority of the remaining testers.

    July 19, 2007 9:42 PM
  • Chip said:

    That's too bad. Windows Vista badly needs a service pack to fixes most of the existing problems.

    The sooner they launch it, the better. For both Vista users and Microsoft.

    July 20, 2007 2:06 PM