Microsoft starts priming the pump for Vista SP1 Preview

Microsoft starts priming the pump for Vista SP1 Preview

Summary: Microsoft is still on track to make a beta available later this week of what it's referring to as "Vista Service Pack 1 Preview," according to sources close to the company. Already, the company has started posting (what appeared to be, at least) SP1-related content on its Connect site, according to testers with access to that material.

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

Microsoft is still on track to make a beta available later this week of what it's referring to as "Vista Service Pack 1 Preview," according to sources close to the company.

Microsoft is expected to provide certain testers with access to the Vista SP1 Preview beta code later this week, possibly on July 19, the day the company will announce its fiscal 2007 earnings, sources said.

A certain select few testers already have been working with earlier versions of the Vista SP1 code, sources said. This week's beta of SP1 Preview will be opened up to more testers and will be a refresh, sources said.

On July 17, Microsoft made available to preselected testers a beta of the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) designed to coincide with the Vista SP1 Preview testers said. The refreshed WDK code is on the Microsoft Connect site for download, testers added. is running a copy of the WDK e-mail that Microsoft is said to have sent to testers. It includes the following statement:

"A new beta WDK build is now available for download on Connect. This WDK beta release to Connect coincides with the recent OS beta release for Vista SP1 Preview. Please take a few moments to install the new build and test as applicable for your needs. As always, please file bugs as quickly and detailed as possible."

Microsoft officials did not respond to a request for comment on the company's Vista SP1 rollout plans or WDK availability by the time this blog post was published.

Update: On Tuesday afternoon, a Microsoft spokesman said this note from the WDK team was not accurate and included a typo. He said the note was about a WDK for Windows Server 2008.

(My comment: Sure seems like we're seeing a lot of Windows Vista SP1 typos lately.)

Update No. 2 on July 18: The file name for the download of the WDK  is 6001.16549.070628-1825-WDKSP1_EN.ISO, as WinBeta notes. Guess the typo must have worked its way into the file name, too. A few Vista testers have said to me they believe that the WDK should be the same for Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008.

Vista SP1 -- an update which Microsoft has done its best to make its officials wouldn't discuss -- is expected to include a number of performance and reliability improvements. SP1 is expected to be more about fixes than features, according to those claiming to be in the know. Among the expected list of Vista SP1 update:

  • Performance tweaks lessening the amount of time it takes to copy files and shut down Vista machines
  • Improved transfer performance and decreased CPU utilization via support for SD Advanced Direct Memory Access (DMA)
  • Support for ExFat, the Windows file format for flash memory storage and other consumer devices
  • Improvements to BitLocker Drive Encryption to allow not just encryption of the whole Vista volume, but also locally created data volumes
  • The ability to boot Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) on an x64 machine
  • Improved success rate for firewalled MeetingSpace and Remote Assistance connections

"The SP1 stuff is being rushed much more than we had expected so it's going to be a lot less impressive than we had hoped," said one Vista tester, who requested anonymity. "The changes at Microsoft have been pretty dramatic. It's been made pretty clear that dates will determine releases, not features. So you will probably be able to set your watch by Windows releases."

No word from Microsoft on when and if it is planning an open beta of Vista SP1 (preview or final). In fact, still no official word from Microsoft on anything at all regarding Vista SP1. Last I heard, however, November 2007 is still the target for the final Vista SP1 release.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • This Just In

    Microsoft disappears up it's own rear.

    The pre beta pre-selection of the alpha team responsible for the pre-alpha
    announcement, has just been announced.

    Rest assured folks, the pump has been primed. The rocket's on the launch pad
    and it's fully loaded with turbo juice! It will get additional thrust from the kerosine
    soaked papers containing the steroid boosted talking points from a thousand
    power nodes.

    Harry Bardal
    • Please tell us...

      What is it that inspires a fool to rant the way you do? Did Bill or Steve knock up your daughter or something?
      • Bam

        Bam. There it is, I'm a fool. Thank heavens we're not mincing words anymore and we
        can get straight to the hate?

        Fools sound just like me right? It's my understanding, that fools are impressionable
        as well. I'll be sure to let everyone know when you've made an impression.
        Harry Bardal
        • Agreed

          Agreed, No_Axe is really showing his axe a lot more and going straight to the hate and [i]ad hominem[/i]s these days.

          Keep grinding that axe, "No_Ax_to_Grind" - it's pretty obvious your name is quite the opposite of who you are.
      • It is what passes for humor ....

        ... in Great Britain. Of course it would be more funny if you were a Member of the Cult of the Mac. Personally I prefer Harry sticks to the fiction he writes when he says that Apple is the only truly open platform and viable competitor to Microsoft.
        • Just take a dump...

          and see the Microsoft warez that is left in the bowl!
          • Funny every time I do ....

            ... I see you smiling back at me :)
        • I think the humour

          is much better than his rants! His reply was better than usual too.

          [i](Disclaimer - I have never owned a Mac)[/i]
      • You Tell Me

        Every time I click onto a TalkBack , relating to Microsoft, there you are,to use your own word having a rant.
        Are you part of the Spin Doctor machine at Microsoft, or do you just have overwhelming loyalty to old Bill and Monkeyman?
        Please tell, I am most interested in your answer.
    • So this is where they hid the WOW !

      I was wondering where they hid the WOW and all the extras for Vista and you have opened my eyes as I see clearly even though I have been swizzle sticked by Microsoft on occasion. I've avoided Vista even though I think it will eventually be a good OS but not because Vista was bad but because I've had previous experiences with MS and their marketing team. Needless to say they gave me the works with their ME version so I won't need another enema for awhile.
    • This Just In

      ABMs (Anything But Microsofts) continue to be ignorant.

      • No_Axe is an ABM?

        I suppose it is possible - as his extremism can't be converting anybody.....

        Moderation - in all things moderation... :)
        If you don't go for the Bible - it DOES say a few things worth remembering..
  • I was going to wait for SP1 but not anymore

    I am taking the plunge and building a new PC with Vista now.
    • Tell us how that goes

      I'm thinking of the same. Not building but major upgrade to the existing hardware.
      • Newer hardware likes Vista better

        It's been my experience that newer hardware likes Vista a lot older than the older stuff. If he's putting the latest stuff in, it should actually go quite smoothly.

        Beware of older stuff: Even it it can run Vista, older stuff suffers from poor support by vendors.

        I myself am running a system with an older socket 939 motherboard, and the vendor just isn't releasing Vista specific drivers for it. The result is that I'm having occasional stability woes :(.

        So a new motherboard (which means new CPU and memory as well) is high on my list for an upgrade.
    • Poor thing.

      I feel sorry for you. Oooh, but I like your Britney songs I just downloaded from your un-protected system! Thanx!
  • Vista SP1 = to 10.3 to 10.4?!?

    Where are all the Zealots to tell me how service packs are just like Mac's new versions from 10.2 to 10.3 or 10.3 to 10.4.

    Uhuh....nice try.....
    Kid Icarus-21097050858087920245213802267493
    • re: Vista SP1 = to 10.3 to 10.4?!?


      Of course Service Packs aren't just like OS X updates.

      You don't have to pay US$130 for them...
      M.R. Kennedy
      • Well it beats paying 300.00 to 400.00 for an OS .

        For just one OS to . Anyone up for more spaghetti with swiss cheese ?
        • Or another hundered everytime Steve Jobs needs a raise.

          For all those "updates" to OS X.