With all the Microsoft-created confusion out there around when -- and even whether -- the company plans to deliver the first service pack (SP) for Windows Vista, it's nice to see some concrete proof that Vista SP1 does exist.
The WinFuture.de folks managed to grab a quick snapshot of a machine running a build of Vista SP1 during one of the Rally talks at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in Los Angeles this week. Plain as day, it says: "Windows Build 6001 Service Pack 1, v113.")
I also saw a PowerPoint slide mentioning the existence of Vista SP1 during a WinHEC chalk talk on "The Future of Input" at this week's show. (The context: A shim for the kernel-mode driver foundation version of the digitizer driver will ship as a Windows Driver Kit sample in Vista SP1. That was it.)
Given all the mumbo-jumbo coming from the Windows brass lately about SP1, I actually was starting to wonder whether Microsoft might try to go without one and just use Automatic Update and Windows Update Services to roll out all of the Vista fixes and updates.
I asked Directions on Microsoft analyst Michael Cherry before the Vista SP1 screen-shot sighting this week whether he thought Microsoft might try to do away with client service packs, starting with Vista. Cherry's response:
"It appears that a number of people within Microsoft think that the full fledged service pack is no longer needed, because Windows Update provides a mechanism to get fixes to customers. Because everyone can download the fixes they need as soon as they are released, there is less need have rollups or service packs.
"The only thing keeping me thinking they would do a service pack was to formalize the delivering of the PatchGuard API (application programming interface) to the software vendors who need it.
"Key to keep in mind when discussing Service Packs--I can find nothing that obligates Microsoft to produce any. Any killing them kills the 'wait for SP1 mindset.'"
Now we just need an SP1 date, beyond the "simultaneous with Longhorn Server" one that Microsoft execs provided last year. Anyone got any updated SP1 timing info to share?