updated 12:25 pm EST, Mon February 4, 2008
Windows Vista SP1 rollout
The first Service Pack for Windows Vista has been released to manufacturing, Microsoft has announced. English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese versions are said to be heading to assembly lines, mainly for enterprise customers, but also for OEMs who will be installing the updated version on new computers. SP1 will also be released via Windows Update, but this is not scheduled until mid-March as a manual download, and mid-April as an automatic one.
The reason for the delay is attributed to driver incompatibility, as a number of beta testers reported problems with drivers that did not follow Microsoft's installation guidelines; as a result, some devices would not function properly. Although the issues were fixed simply by reinstalling the drivers, Microsoft is waiting until the implicated hardware manufacturers develop new installers.
The release of SP1 may be critical for Microsoft, as many shoppers and vendors are resisting Vista due to a number of deficiencies. SP1 is said to address a large collection of them; among these is the speed of copying files, which in some cases should be as much as 50 percent faster. Systems should also emerge from sleep faster, and the OS is said to become speedier and more reliable as a whole. These changes suggest, however, that SP1 is mostly an accumulation of patches previously available in piecemeal fashion.