Next week could mark the delivery of new test builds of both Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 and Windows Server 2008, if signs this week are any indication.
WinBeta discovered Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate (RC) 0 page (which is still available via Google cache). And one Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) is reporting that Microsoft released that RC 0 buid to Technology Adoption Program (TAP) partners this week, making next week look like a probable target for a broader release of the near-final build of Windows Server 2008 RC 0.
Meanwhile, given that Microsoft officials said on August 29 to expect Microsoft to release to 10,000 to 15,000 testers a beta build of Vista SP1 "in two weeks," next week might also be the due date for Vista SP1, if Redmond sticks to schedule.
Microsoft announced at the end of August that the final version of Vista SP1 should be ready to ship in the first quarter of 2008, as would Windows Server 2008. Until recently, testers had been expecting the final versions of both of these releases in November 2007. But given Microsoft's efforts to more tightly sync Windows client and server, going forward, the simultaneous delays of the two products isn't a huge surprise.
Speaking of Vista SP1, Gartner Inc. has issued a research note advising companies against waiting for SP1 to commence their deployment plans. Gartner is echoing Microsoft's sentiment that service packs are less important than they once were. Gartner's latest recommendations:
- "Organizations that expect to be running any XP in mid-2010 should plan to test and deploy SP3 (due in the first half of 2008). It should be significantly less work than testing and deploying SP2.
- "Organizations should integrate SP1 into their testing, piloting and deployment plans, but they should not significantly delay Windows Vista deployment on new PCs by waiting forSP1. If shifting a PC deployment a few weeks would allow deployment of Vista, do it, but don't bring in new PCs on Windows XP instead — it will be easier to upgrade a Vista PC to SP1 than an XP PC to Vista.
- "If shifting a PC deployment a few weeks would allow deployment of SP1, do it. "