Not one, but two Windows service packs

A newly released document filed with the U.S. District Court supervising the Microsoft antitrust case reveals some detals about two long-awaited Windows updates. Yes, Virginia, there will be a Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista, and there's news about the long-delayed Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, too.

Late last night, the U.S. and state attorneys leading the enforcement effort in the antitrust judgment against Microsoft filed their latest joint status report (a PDF copy of the report is available via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which also has a tidy wrap-up).

I’m still reading the report, but these two tidbits jumped out at me:

Yes, Virginia, there will be a Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista. According to the report, “Microsoft will deliver the required changes [to desktop search functionality] in Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista, which Microsoft currently anticipates will be available in beta form by the end of the year.” That strongly implies that SP1 won’t be ready for final shipment until well into 2008.

The on-again, off-again Service Pack 3 for Windows XP appears to be on again. According to the report, “Microsoft has agreed to make changes to Windows XP, two Middleware Products, and Windows Live Messenger. …
Changes for Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player will be made available to users in August 2007 … The Windows XP changes will be incorporated into Service Pack 3 for Windows XP.” Alas, no clues on the actual release date, but I’m placing my bets on early 2008, after SP1 for Vista.