Now is the time and the time is now: let’s talk about Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Much has been made of what will or will not be included in SP1 and when it will be released (some accurate, some otherwise). I’m here to set the story straight: we’re in the process of developing and deploying a Beta version of SP1. This post will describe for you what to expect from that effort and how you can be involved in the process.

First, a note on service packs. As you are aware, service packs are part of our traditional software lifecycle; they?re something we do for most major products as a commitment to continuous improvement. But, the servicing situation has changed with the advent of Windows Vista, as we no longer rely solely on service packs as the main vehicle used to deploy system fixes and improvements. The Windows Update online service is one new way to deliver many OS improvements. For example, yesterday in advance of SP1 we released via Windows Update two separate improvements to Windows Vista?s reliability and performance. We did this prior to SP1 in lieu of requiring customers to wait for these fixes to be rolled into a single service pack. Beyond this, we improve the Windows Vista experience by continuing to work closely with software partners to ensure application compatibility. We likewise align efforts with partners on the hardware side of the business to broaden the range of devices that work with Windows Vista and to constantly improve device driver quality.

Continued @ Windows Vista Team Blog