Microsoft Vista SP1 released to manufacturing

Microsoft Vista product management guy, Mike Nash, announced on the Vista blog today that Vista Service Pack 1 has

been released to manufacturing. Some current Vista users were ticked off to learn that instead of making the new version immediately available to them, Microsoft will time the release so that they get SP1 when PC manufactuers begin selling it on new machines. Current users will be given the option to upgrad to SP1 via Windows Update in "mid-March," Nash said. An automatic Windows Update, for those who use auto-updates, will occur in April. Here is Nash's exact words:

We are going to stage our rollout of SP1 for current Windows Vista users to be approximately concurrent with the availability of Windows Vista SP1 on new PCs and in stores. There are a couple of reasons for this. 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.

Another six weeks to wait for the next version of Vista shouldn't be a hardship for users. The catch will be if, after the delay, the program works as advertised. Given all else that is going on with the company right now, that's a big IF -- Microsoft may be a bit distracted with the launch of Windows Server 2008, the launch party and a tiny little $44+ billion buyout of Yahoo to attend closely to SP1.

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