In case you hadn't seen the posting on the Windows Vista Blog today, the team announced the Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Beta as Nick writes...

"Now is the time and the time is now:  let's talk about Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). ... we're in the process of developing and deploying a Beta version of SP1. 

"The Windows Update online service is one new way to deliver many OS improvements.  For example, yesterday in advance of SP1 we released via Windows Update two separate improvements to Windows Vista’s reliability and performance.  We did this prior to SP1 in lieu of requiring customers to wait for these fixes to be rolled into a single service pack. 

"[Vista] SP1 will contain changes focused on addressing specific reliability and performance issues we’ve identified via customer feedback, supporting new types of hardware, and adding support for several emerging standards.  SP1 also makes additional improvements to the IT administration experience.  We didn’t design SP1 as a vehicle for releasing new features; however, some existing components do gain enhanced functionality in SP1. More information on what’s included in SP1 can be found in the detailed white paper.

"In the meantime, I’d encourage you to check out the Windows Vista SP1 white paper for more detail." 

We should see the SP1 Beta released in the next couple of weeks to MSDN and TechNet subscribers as we expand beyond the current set of testers.

As noted in Keith Ward's article today in Redmond Mag, customers will be able to obtain the service pack throughone of a couple of different methods, including...

  • "Express. Requires an Internet connection but minimizes the size of the download by sending only the changes needed for a specific computer (approximately 50 MB for x86-based operating systems).
  • Stand-alone. Recommended for computers with limited Internet connectivity and for applying the service pack to multiple computers. The download size is larger than the express package, but customers can apply a single package to any Windows Vista version and language combination (within a platform). Distribution tools like System Center Configuration Manager 2007 use stand-alone packages to deploy Windows Vista SP1.
  • Slipstream. The slipstream version of Windows Vista SP1 is media that already contains the service pack, which companies can use to deploy the operating system to new computers or to upgrade existing computers. Availability will be limited. Microsoft will update Windows Vista retail media with Windows Vista SP1 slipstream media in the future. Slipstream media will also be available to Volume Licensing customers."

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