Microsoft hints at Vista SP1 beta in August

An offhand reference in an obscure Microsoft document suggests that anyone with an MSDN subscription will have access to a beta of Vista SP1 very soon. And what's this reference to a new generation of graphics hardware?

I’ve steered clear of the Vista SP1 snipe hunt so far, partly because Mary Jo seems to be doing a pretty good job of it, and partly because the hype and accompanying unreasonable expectations around SP1 are getting extreme. If history is any guide, SP1 will fix some annoyances. It will correct showstopper bugs. It will add thousands of new and updated WHQL-signed device drivers to the Vista Driver Store. It will add a tiny number of tweaks to a few client pieces. It will not be a miracle cure, but it will be enough to allay the fears and ease the uncertainty for some corporate customers.

And it will apparently be widely available to anyone with an MSDN subscription. That’s the logical inference from a casual reference buried in the release notes for the August 2007 DirectX SDK. In a discussion of the Direct 3D 10.1 Tech Preview, the release notes say:

Direct3D 10.1 is an incremental, side-by-side update to Direct3D 10.0 that provides a series of new rendering features that will be available in an upcoming generation of graphics hardware. … This tech preview provides an early look at these features and the handful of new APIs that support them. The August 2007 Direct3D 10.1 Tech Preview requires the Windows Vista SP1 Beta which will be available to MSDN subscribers once it is publicly released. [emphasis added]

Despite some concerns that access to SP1 would be limited to a small core of insiders, it appears that won’t be the case.

Oh, and … “available in an upcoming generation of graphics hardware”? That sounds intriguing. Anyone want to hazard a guess on what that new hardware is?

(Thanks to ITsVista for the pointer.)


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