At this very moment, the OEM partners of Microsoft are busy creating new images of Windows Vista SP1 to be pre-installed in all new PC's. Microsoft has gone RTM (release to manufacturing) with Windows Vista SP1.
Is it a big deal? Not really. A service pack doesn't pack the same punch anymore. Let me explain. In the stone ages, where Internet access wasn't prevalent, a service pack for let's say Window NT Server was a godsend. It had all the security fixes and enhancements rolled up together, and was necessary for new deployments. But today you no longer have to wait for a service pack to get the most important updates. With the Internet, you can download them and deploy them instantly (after testing of course).
Additionally, you also get hardware and software updates from Microsoft through its Automatic Windows Update services. Basically, as you continue to download updates, fixes, hardware & software, and driver updates,
With Windows Vista SP1, Microsoft took feedback from the Customer Experience Improvement Program, online crash analysis, and Windows error reporting to really learn what the major issues are with
Here is a high level of what will be included in Windows Vista SP1:
For a more detailed list, please download, Windows Vista SP guides.
As far as deployment is concerned, when downloading and installing SP1, you will have three download methods. They are:
The Express installation will require an Internet connection but minimizes the download size by sending only the changes needed for a specific computer. The standalone installation is about 1 GB in size and allows you to install Windows SP1 without an Internet connection. Finally, the Slipstream version will come with a new the operating system. You will be able to install Windows Vista on a new machine with SP1 already included.
As far as a timeline is concerned, according to Mike Nash, PM Windows Product Management group at Microsoft, In mid-March, we will release Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Update (in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese) and to the download center on microsoft.com. Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1. If Windows Update determines that the system has one of the drivers we know to be problematic, then Windows Update will not offer SP1. Since we know that some customers may want to update to SP1 anyhow, the download center will allow anyone who wants to install SP1 to do so.
Steven Warren is an IT consultant for the Ultimate Software Group and a freelance technical writer who has been a regular contributor to TechRepublic, TechProGuild, CNET, ZDNET, DatabaseJournal.com and CIO Update. He the author of The VMware Workstation 5.0 Handbook and holds the following certifications: MCDBA, MCSE, MCSA, CCA, CIW-SA, CIW-MA, Network+, and i-Net+.