New Beta Builds of Vista SP1 and XP SP3 in December?

Microsoft is hard at work hammering away at the two service packs designed to refresh the Windows XP and Windows Vista clients.

The first preview versions of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and Windows XP Service Pack 3 were dropped in mid July 2007, and have been joined at the hip ever since. The reason is the Microsoft strategy set up to synchronize all update releases for both the Windows client and server platforms, essentially putting Vista SP1, XP SP3 and Windows Server 2008 in the same cooking pot.

Following the first beta for Vista SP1 in late September and another preview build of XP SP3 in early October, the Redmond company has apparently set the baking timer for the next testing versions of the two service packs for December. The confirmation did not come from the Windows division, but from the team building Internet Explorer.

Microsoft will overhaul IE Automatic Component Activation with the introduction of technology licensed from Eolas and has announced two stages of the delivery of the IE ActiveX Update modifications. The updated and final version of Internet Explorer will drop via the Windows Update infrastructure as a Cumulative Update for the browser in April 2008.

But as early as December 2007, the Microsoft Download Center will start offering the Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview, nothing more than an optional preview release featuring the changes announced. "Additionally this change will be made part of the next pre-release versions of Windows Vista SP1 and Windows XP SP3," revealed Pete LePage, IE Senior Product Manager. (emphasis added)

The correlation between the December launch of Internet Explorer Automatic Component Activation Preview and the integration of the ActiveX component modifications in the next testing milestones of Vista SP1 and XP SP3 is bound not to be coincidental. In addition, Microsoft has already showed signs that it is ready to make available the first Release Candidate for Vista SP1 and the Beta for XP SP3 is close behind.


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