Vista Service Pack 1 This Year?

Microsoft hasn’t quite gotten Windows Vista out the door but it is already working on the first service pack for the new system. But if you’re thinking you’d like to be on the list for testing it, that may be difficult.

Windows enthusiast site reported this week that Redmond has sent out an e-mail to selected Technology Adoption Program participants asking them to nominate testers for Vista Service Pack 1.

“TAP is looking for customers and partners [to] actively test and provide feedback on Windows Vista SP1 to help us prepare for its release in the second half of CY07. Customers must be willing to provide feedback and deploy pre-release builds into production environments,” the e-mail states, according to

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that the company has begun working on Vista SP1, and that it has been soliciting nominations among TAP participants, but declined to confirm the plan for a second half delivery.

The Microsoft e-mail also says that there will be only a limited number of seats available in the Windows Vista SP1 TAP. Interested parties should contact their Microsoft technical account manager.

As in the past, the e-mail cautions the service pack won’t be anything startling. Instead, it will be “a standard service pack that will include security updates, hot fixes, as well as limited other changes focused on improving quality.”

Typically, many IT shops wait for the first service pack of a major new Microsoft product before they begin to deploy it.

Therefore, getting the service pack as soon as possible after commercial release, plays a role in how many companies begin the migration to Vista within the first year to 18 months of general availability. The question may be whether there are enough changes in the next 10 or 11 months to constitute a solid service pack.

In the meantime, some IT managers have posted questions on and other forums wondering aloud whether the major focus on Vista will further slow delivery of Windows XP SP3, which is currently set for the first half of 2008. This time last year, Microsoft slipped the date to the second half of 2007.

The company quietly changed that date to 2008 last fall, saying the 2007 timeframe was “preliminary.” Initially, XP SP3 was due out sometime in 2006.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services,, and .NET magazines. Contact him at [email protected].