Where is Vista SP2?

Where is Vista SP2?

Summary: Even though Microsoft seems increasingly reticent to say the "V" word (Vista), some users still do care. I've had several readers ask me when the Redmondians are going to release Vista SP2 on the Microsoft Download site.


Even though Microsoft seems increasingly reticent to say the "V" word (Vista), some users still do care. I've had several readers ask me when the Redmondians are going to release Vista SP2 on the Microsoft Download site.

The answer, from Microsoft, is no answer (beyond the already-stated "some time in the second calendar quarter of this year").

Microsoft released to manufacturing the final version of Vista SP2 -- and Windows Server 2008 SP2 -- on April 29. Microsoft made SP2 briefly (and possibly accidentally) available to MSDN, TechNet and Connect members on May 6. Late last week, Microsoft delivered the fully integrated images of SP2 for Vista client and Windows Server 2008 to TechNet and MSDN subscribers.

But what about everyday users who are interested in downloading the final SP2 bits? One reader told me he heard talk that Microsoft was planning to release the new SP today (May 19) on the Microsoft Download Center. So far, it's not there.

I asked Microsoft for more information on when SP2 would be availble to the public -- and what was taking them so long to get it posted to the Download Center. This is the answer I got back from a spokesperson: "It's still scheduled for this quarter (Q2) but isn't available yet."

Yes, I realize that, I replied. But what's taking so long? The spokesperson's update: Q2 "has been the public statement for some time so it's not a delay."

OK. Delay or no delay... where is it? At least some users want the features, fixes, security updates (and in the case of Server, integrated Hyper-V) that are part of the service pack.

Update: Maybe Microsoft is trying to let the smoke clear -- from Vista making it onto Time's "10 Biggest Technology Failures of the Decade" list? Or, as one reader suggested, is Microsoft holding off from making SP2 available to make sure it doesn't risk muddying further its Windows 7 upgrade messaging?

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows


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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  • tell me about it

    At this point, I'm ready to use *online dissemination alternatives*, like I did with the Win7 Release Candidate leak, in order to get Vista SP2 for my dual-boot machines.
    angarita calvo
  • I know!

    I've been waiting patiently but now I'm getting a
    little mad...

    Yeah, it is Vista, but still... I've been waiting.
    Though I'm not sure how much of a difference it's
    going to make because I am always already up to date
    when it comes to updates...

    I guess I'm just a little OCD when it comes to
  • Where is Vista SP2? Mary Jo they've renamed it: Windows 7!

    Drum roll.............
    Rim shot. Symbol smash.

    Paging Mike Cox.
    • Message has been deleted.

    • MS tend to do such kind of servicing with some products like Visulal Studio

      You might be joking but unfortunately Microsoft services Visual Studio product in an extactly such way.

      They do only one SP that makes crappy RTM workable and after that fix only very critical bugs (using hotfixes).

      Important bugs are fixed only in the next version and you should pay extra money for the upgrade.

      Next version usualy brings in hundreds of new bugs (in old functionality too) some of which will be fixed by SP for that new version.

      So, in this model you pay not only for the new features but for the servcing too and you cannot get new features with new bugs and bug fixes separately.

      Besides plain money this gives other benefits like having developers to switch to newer tools (Managed code, WPF and so on) which kind of move the industry forward :) I am not sure if this is a planned consequence of Microsoft servicing policy for development tools.

    • Nope......not an idiot at all

      Actually, it's not a bad answer, given the utter disaster that Vista has been......Okay, I know, YOU in particular love it, it works wonderfully and you can't wait to tell me.....however as a general thing, Vista has been a disaster and the majority of business won't touch it.....So, Win7 probably can be considered SP2 for Vista.......but you'll have to pay for it in a lot of cases.
      • Exactly the scenario. Windows 7 is Vista, renamed.

        Microsoft gets the dual benefit of separation from the bed reputaion of Vista, plus the opportunity to sell the corrected version to the people who already paid for the one that didn't work. Pretty good deal. For them.

        BTW--I use Windows 7 now. And my computers came with Vista. So I'm not speaking from a position of ignorance. I'm one of those who will be denied the real, meaningful upgrade of Vista, because they chose to sell it as a new OS. I get to play with W7 till June of 2010, and they are hoping I'll be so used to it by then that I'll be willing to pay. It is nice--but I'm in the process of making the big switch, and wondering why I waited so long. I now run Ubuntu. Windows 7 is just a virtual machine I keep running, under Ubuntu, for those times when my clients need me to work with Microsoft's proprietary software. I'm moving on, Microsoft, and it feels GOOD.
        • It is not Vista renamed

          The upgraded kernel, and stripped featureset, touch capability and other changes will state that you are incorrect. Please refrain from spouting untruths.
          • Balmer disagrees with you.

            Steve Balmer clearly stated in a widely reported interview, "Windows 7 is Vista." Can we have done with the nonsense? Microsoft owes everyone who bought Vista or a machine with Vista a copy of Windows 7.
          • Ballmer disagrees with you.

            Steve Ballmer has no clue of what is going on. He is too busy throwing chairs while trying to kill google, and buy Yahoos search.

            He was nicknamed Steve Throwing Chairs Ballmer for a reason.

            It cannot be the same thing and have a different kernel version. The 6.1 kernel of Windows 7 has been well documented. Features have been removed and new features were added. You did a spectacular job of being wrong.
          • I know that's not going to happen but

            it would be nice. Ouch!
          • Ballmer: 'Windows 7 will be Vista, but a lot better'

            <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1645" target="_blank">Ballmer: 'Windows 7 will be Vista, but a lot better'</a>

            <font color=#808080>"I doubt we'll see any ads featuring the latest Ballmerism on Windows 7 being Vista with some tweaks. But 'Windows 7: Vista done right" is kind of catchy. Or there's always 'Windows 7: <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1132" target="_blank">The Anti-Vista</a>.'"</font>

          • Ballmer: 'Windows 7 will be Vista, but a lot better'

            What he meant is that it will be based on Vista. You have to look beyond what he is saying. You do not say that Windows 2000 and Windows XP are the same operating system, even though XP was based off of 2000.

            For that reason, you cannot say that Vista and Windows seven are one and the same. They are brothers, but not the same.
          • Snow Leopard is what Leopard should have been....

            That is more fitting than the blabbering about Windows 7 and Vista. <br>
            There will have been Less time between Leopard and Snow Leopard. <br>
            Leopard came out half baked as *everyone* knows. In fact it struggles with 2 GB of RAM let alone one. <br>
            Leopard was/is such a failure, Apple has never mentioned the name "leopard" in any of it's ads. <br>
            Yet they claim that Microsoft is doing that with Vista, while Vista is advertised directly in the Mojava ads. <br>
            Apple and Jobs -liars. They even tried to tell you Leopard was a full 64 bit OS when it still has a 32 bit kernel. <br>
            And that's not all. NOw if you want Snow Leopard, you not only have to pay for it, but you will need to buy another 3000.00 Mac to run it on. <br>
            Vista ROCKS.
          • Gitreel..........how can you know this ?? You don't !!!

            There is just one complete and all embracing fallacy in what you have stated: You cannot see the source code in either Vista or Windows 7, therefore you do not know that the kernel has been upgraded or even if it has been markedly changed. You can tell if features are no longer present, but that may simply be that a "start button" has been removed and not necessarily underlying code. Until Microsoft opens its code (I just saw a squadron of pink pigs whistling Dixie at 10,000 feet) you can never say what is or is not in their binary packages marketed to the public. It should not be surprising that this aspect of closed source code is a major factor where some countries (eg China, Russia,etc.) are taking steps to remove Microsoft from sensitive intelligence/defence computer systems (eg Kylin in China) simply because they do NOT know what Microsoft has hidden in its binaries......it's a nice thought isn't it ? You really do NOT know what that Microsoft package can do if required or triggered by Redmond.
          • Gitreel..........how can you know this ?? You don't !!!

            Look at the build numbers and you know. It has also been documented on many technical websites and even Microsoft's people have admitted it.
          • Again, Gitreel.....it is not so......sorry.

            A "build number" is NOT evidence of a kernel upgrade or even a change. All it means is that the piece of software has been newly released. The change could in fact be a comment about a line, or a single letter in a person's name. It may be a change to a bit of the window manager, but not the kernel. You personally may believe that a build number means a change to the kernel code if you like, and possibly you are right in at least some cases......but not always and not necessarily.

            As I said earlier, the ONLY way you can be sure that the Win7 kernel has been upgraded from the Vista kernel is to see the source code of the kernel in both cases and compare them....the binary and its upgrade numbers mean nothing in the truest sense of all, other than: this is the latest release from Redmond; we have made changes.
        • Yay! Someone who 'gets it'!!!!!

          • I think it's more like......

            yah! Someone that agrees with me. <br>
            But I agree, you definately see it in your head the way you posted it. <br>
            What's it like to know what's best for *everyone*?
        • Apparently you've not moved on?

          Here you are still talking about Windows and your need for it, instead of just moving on. <br>
          I find that some people need to come here and tell everyone about "moving on" from Microsoft day in and day out for years, yet everytime there is a blog about Microsoft software they act disgusted and upset over it, as though they are still actually using Microsoft. <br>
          I have tried Linux at my organizations and it fell flat on it's face for us. It's an ok OS for hobbyists but for real time, business oriented software that can easily be loaded and work seamlessly with dozens of other large server and client applications that provide almost endless functionality, Linux just doesn't measure up at all. <br>
          I had to say goodbye to Ubuntu and stay with Windows, along with hundreds of thousands of other businesses and users who choose Microsoft time and time again, with choices abounding. <br>
          I like the testimonials here that declare the end of Microsoft in a shop. To me that shows the person is not an objective professional that uses teh right software for any given situation, but someone who is radical and feels a need to publically "stick it to Microsoft" as they "claim" to leave it behind. <br>
          That is the behavior of a radical, at the least, and frankly a psychopath at the worst. But in either case it is *not* the behavior of an IT professional.
          Anyone that needs the ability to provide real time data to all employees as they need it, and to align with the busineses goals, not just provide old fashioned printing and automation of certain business tasks as is what you'll get with Linux, needs to use Windows on their application servers to provide that level of inegration and economy of scale. <br>
          linux is ok for Web servers and file servers.
          See you next time you have the need to tell the world that you've "moved on" from Windows, as though it was something that and IT professional should totally remove from his/her toolbox. <br>
          Nice work.