Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) has been released to Windows Update and the Microsoft Download Centre.

There are two ways that customers can obtain Windows Vista SP1. They can download it manually from Windows Update and in a month Windows Update will begin automatically downloading SP1 to PCs set to receive updates. Windows Vista SP1 will download automatically, but not install without the user explicitly agreeing. When Microsoft announced the RTM of Windows Vista SP1 last month, they shared their intention to hold the public availability of SP1 via Windows Update until mid-March. 

Microsoft has identified a small set of device drivers that may be problematic if installed on a Windows Vista PC that is subsequently updated to SP1. Many of these issues have been eliminated by changes made to SP1 between those builds and final the build. Because Microsoft wants customers to have the best possible experience with Windows Vista SP1, they have configured Windows Update to delay offering SP1 to PCs with these identified drivers installed. Microsoft has worked with partners to produce driver updates for a majority of the issues found and are using Windows Update to deliver these updated drivers to PCs in advance of offering them SP1.

If a Windows Vista customer would like to download the service pack, but finds it is not offered via Windows Update—even after updating their PC with the latest “optional” driver updates from Windows Update and from their computer manufacturer’s website—they can download it via the Microsoft Download Center . However, Microsoft recommends users install SP1 via Windows Update, as that will help ensure they have the best experience.

Users who choose to download from the Microsoft Download Center should be sure to read these Knowledge Base articles: 948187 and 948343. For further comment please visit www.windowsvistablog.com.