The first Release Candidate of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is available as a free download from Microsoft. The final SP1 will also be delivered at no extra charge to all Windows Vista users, as it is the practice with service pack releases. But, another tradition over at Microsoft is to time-bomb the testing releases of upcoming software products. In the perspective of the Redmond company, the testers are able to access the bits in the early stages of building and get a sneak peek, without dropping a single cent. Of course, that the true transaction comes in terms of the feedback generated, so in the end, it is still a case of Quid Pro Quo, even if financial matters are put aside.
On December 12th, 2007, the company dropped the first public version of Vista SP1 with the RC build via the
Microsoft Download Center. Vista SP1 RC1 was previously accessible only through Connect, and by MSDN and TechNet subscribers. But, as it was forecasted following the initial introduction of the first pre-beta variants of Vista SP1, the service pack went to the general public by the end of 2007. Users that will implement Vista SP1 RC1 into their copy of the operating system will be able to run it for a little over half a year. Vista SP1 RC1 is scheduled to expire on June 30th, 2008.
"Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate is time-limited software. It will no longer operate after June 30, 2008 and should be uninstalled prior to that date", revealed Nick White, Microsoft Product Manager. "If you install the Service Pack 1 Release Candidate, it is strongly recommended that you also plan to install the final version of Windows Vista SP1 when it is released in the first quarter of 2008. To do this, you will be required to uninstall this pre-release code. You must have a genuine copy of Windows Vista installed on the computer prior to installing the Windows Vista SP1 update."
White failed to inform what will happen to the operating systems from which SP1 RC1 will not be removed past the expiration date. In this context, it is interesting to see if the expiration of the Release Candidate of the Service Pack will cause the end users to experience problems with Windows Vista RTM on which the refresh was deployed.
Windows Vista SP1 RC1 "is pre-release code and will change before the final release. This pre-release software is provided for testing purposes only. Microsoft does not recommend installing this software on primary or mission-critical systems. Microsoft recommends that you backup your data prior to installing any pre-release software. Support is through self-help and peer support via the Windows Vista SP1 forum. Assisted support (phone, email and online chat) is not available from Microsoft Support for this RC release of SP1", White added.
Windows Vista, Service Pack, SP1, Vista SP1, Release Candidate, Microsoft