Vista SP1 Confirmed for February 15 – XP SP3 Too?

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is just around the corner. Despite the fact that Microsoft continues to point to the first quarter of 2008 as the deadline for the delivery of Vista's first service pack, it appears that the refresh will drop as early as next month.

According to the Redmond company, Vista SP1 is planned for release by the end of March 2008. Microsoft has not shifted from the official timetable and failed to update it in accordance with the development of the operating system. However, it appears now that February 15 was confirmed as the RTM date for Windows Vista SP1.

Mid February 2008 is a more realistic date for the launch of Vista SP1, and one that is at the end of the natural course of evolution of the service pack's development process. Taiwanese news outlet DigiTimes, doing a story on the DRAM industry in 2008, cited Pei-lin Pai, a spokesman for DRAM manufacturer Nanya, saying: "the PC market will rebound in the second quarter. The launch of an updated version of Microsoft Vista on February 15, if its prices do not go up too much compared to its previous version, may help boost DRAM sales," (emphasis added).

Although Microsoft continues not to breathe a single word on the official RTM date of Vista SP1, it appears that the Nanya representative managed to spill the beans on the availability of the service pack. But even without confirmation from the Redmond company, the fact of the matter remains that there is an intimate connection between the release to manufacturing date of Windows Server 2008 and Vista Service Pack 1. Microsoft has virtually synchronized the development milestones for the first service pack to its latest Windows client and the testing releases of its last 32-bit server operating system.

In this context, back in December 2007, Microsoft made available for the general public, Release Candidates for both Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008. Then, as Windows Server 2008 moved into Escrow, the final stage before RTM, the Redmond company dropped a Refresh for Windows Vista SP1 in early January 2008. At this point in time, multiple sources outside of the company have pointed to February for the RTM of Windows Server 2008.

Such a scenario also means that Vista SP1 is close to be made available in February, but with Microsoft emphasizing that, in the end, customer feedback is the deal-breaker when it comes to shipping the final version of the service pack. But, a mid February release also makes sense because Microsoft has yet to ship two prerequisite updates for Vista SP1 that will be dropped with next month's patch cycle.

In the shadow of Vista SP1 and XP Sp3, the Redmond company is also hammering away at Windows XP Service Pack 3. The last signs from Microsoft when it comes down to the third and final service pack for Windows XP were made toward the end of December 2006, with the public availability for download of the Release Candidate standalone package. XP SP3 RC was released on the heels of Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 and, as such, it only makes sense that the RTM version will also follow the final builds of the Windows client service pack and the server operating system.


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