Oh Goodie, In Another Six Months Vista SP1 Will Be Here.

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Even though Microsoft pleaded with users not to wait for SP1 to upgrade to Vista, it’s clear that many are wary of the new OS from an upgrade standpoint. In fact, given Dell, HP and others are offering XP as an option (and Dell even offers Linux), it seems even new users are wary of Vista.

In my article I stated that Microsoft couldn’t just rush an SP1 out the door since if it didn’t appear to resolve at least a few issues than it would just make Vista look worse. So Microsoft has been mum on SP1. Until now. Microsoft is finally talking about it. The Microsoft Watch article discusses Microsoft’s plan for SP1. This includes:

“Microsoft plans to release the first Vista service pack beta to 10,000 to 15,000 select testers in just a few weeks. Microsoft also plans to release Windows XP Service Pack 3 beta to testers about the same time.”

Yes, XP better get an upgrade if Vista’s is six months off. What’s interesting is that Microsoft’s usual splashy public beta approach may not be in the cards for SP1:

“”We may not” have a public beta, David Zipkin, Windows client senior product manager, said in response to one of my questions. “We do plan to go very broad through MSDN and TechNet at a later point.””

Translation: We have informally polled all 50 Vista users that would be beneficial to us running a beta, and they want nothing to do with it. OK, perhaps an exaggeration, but Microsoft couldn’t rely on a huge base of beta users for Vista SP1. Not like they got with XP SP2. Yes, there are 60 million Vista users, but they all bought new PCs, the techies Microsoft would prefer have already tried Vista, and a lot of them went back to XP.

What will SP1 contain? I found this amusing:

“Microsoft plans to add no major additional Vista features in the service pack, although there will be support for new or emerging technology standards like exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) and EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) for 64-bit systems.

“The vehicle for new features is a new version of Windows,” Zipkin said. That’s good news for enterprises, for which new features can introduce new compatibility troubles.”

As to the first, I should hope there are no new features, the ones in there already don’t work! If I was a Vista user the last thing I’d want it Microsoft attempting to add more baubles when there’s bugs, performance issues and instabilities to address.

Regarding the second item about the “vehicle” for new features is a new version of Windows. Whoa! It’s one thing to say SP1 will not add new stuff. This is just fine for reasons already stated. But no new features until Vienna (or Windows 7, as Redmond is now calling it) is released? Ouch! Does that mean they know they’ll be stomping Vista bug for years? This does not bode well.

The good news for me is I ordered my upgrade from Windows XP SP2 three weeks ago, and it came not a service pack too soon.

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