Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was released to manufacturing today and will start being available to customers in March, starting with Microsoft Volume Licensing customers. Windows Server 2008 was also released to manufacturing today and will be available for purchase to new customers on March 1. Microsoft Volume Licensing customers with active Microsoft Software Assurance coverage or an Enterprise Agreement will be able to download the server software toward the end of February as part of the joint Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 “Heroes Happen Here” launch event.
Yep, can’t forget the goofy asynchronous “launch event” on February 27. Actually, the availability of Windows Server 2008 is the closest thing to fresh news they will have at the event.
Finally, Microsoft’s Vista blog has more on the SP1 rollout and it seems that the service pack isn’t exactly wart-free:
Our beta testing identified an issue with a small set of device drivers. These drivers do not follow our guidelines for driver installation and as a result, some beta participants who were using Windows Vista and updated to Service Pack 1 reported issues with these devices. Because the issue was with the way the drivers were installed and not the drivers themselves, the solution was simply to reinstall the drivers. While this worked fine for our more technical beta testers, we want to deliver a better experience for customers as we make the update broadly available.
While we know that most customers who update from Windows Vista to SP1 will NOT be affected, our approach is to improve the experience for all our customers. To do this, we will begin making SP1 available through Windows Update in mid-March, giving us time to work with some of our hardware partners to make adjustments to the installation process for the affected drivers. As SP1 gets delivered through Windows Update, we will only offer it to PCs that we detect don’t have any of the affected device drivers installed. We’re taking the next month or so to continue our work of identifying as many of these devices as possible.
We’ll have to see if this a mountain or a mole hill, but it unfortunately sounds like the kind of problem that was making customers skittish about Vista in the first place.