Where is Vista SP2?

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?