Select group of testers get new builds of XP SP3, Vista SP1

Microsoft released yet more test builds of both Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 and Windows Vista SP1 this week.

Microsoft released yet more test builds of both Windows XP Service Pack (SP) 3 and Windows Vista SP1 this week.

Microsoft made the newest test build of XP SP3, which it is calling XP SP3 Release Candidate (RC) Refresh 2, available to 15,000 testers on January 23, Microsoft officials said. It also released a new refresh of its Vista SP1 build, known as Vista SP1 RC Refresh 2, to the same 15,000 testers on January 24, execs said.

Microsoft made both builds available via its private Connect test site.

Microsoft released privately and then publicly an RC test build of Vista SP1 just a couple of weeks ago. The company released a public RC test build of XP SP3 in December 2007.

Microsoft has said the final version of Windows Vista SP1 is due to ship in the first quarter of 2008, and the final XP SP3 some time in the first half of this year. Microsoft has been delivering both private and public test builds of both service packs on a regular basis over the past few months.

The test group for both service packs includes "corporate customers, consumer enthusiasts, software and hardware vendors, and others," Microsoft reiterated. However, neither of these new builds are available for public download -- at least not right now.

Earlier this week, there were some reports floating claiming that Microsoft is planning to deliver the final Vista SP1 bits on February 15. I hear the delivery date might be sooner than that and could even sync up with the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Server 2008, which sources say is could happen in the first week of February. Guess we'll see soon.... Microsoft officials reiterated during the company's Q2 FY 2008 earnings call on January 24 that the first Vista SP, a release awaited by many business users before they will deploy the latest Windows release, is on track for delivery in the first quarter of 2008.

So if you're one of the chosen 15,000 testers, there are new SPs out there with your names on them. Any of you seeing any showstoppers in either Vista SP1 or XP SP3, at this point?

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