Following Microsoft's decision to limit the testing process of the beta for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 to a select pool of participants, reports have surfaced claiming that the Redmond company has pushed the release of SP1 up to 2009. This new perspective seems to deny the current scenario that Vista SP1 will be delivered by the end of this year. However, the source of the 2009 date did emphasize the fact that a potential release two years from now for Vista SP1 is purely speculative. In this context, the speculation is also quite far fetched.
Microsoft offered official confirmation that Windows Vista SP1 is in the works. The company is dogfooding the first refresh for Vista, and a select group of testers are already running the beta of the product. The Redmond company only denied that a public beta of Vista SP1 will be delivered in the immediate future. Still, 2009 is a long way away. Especially considering that Microsoft, with Steven Sinofsky, Senior Vice President, Windows and Windows Live Engineering Group leading the Vista SP1 and Windows Seven project, is committed to making Windows Seven – the successor of Vista – available by 2010.
Other arguments pointing to the November 2007 release of Vista SP1 come from Microsoft's present history with prior Service Pack launches for various Windows versions. Windows 2000, for example, got its first Service Pack in 2000, the same year of launch, then the second in 2001, the third in 2002 and the fourth in 2003. The story is similar to Windows Tablet PC Edition – first Service Pack in 2003, the year of the release, the second in 2004.
Even Windows XP got its first Service Pack within the first 12 months of general availability. The trend was only broken with Windows XP SP2. Still, Microsoft is considering XP SP2 an entirely different operating system dropped in 2004, two years after the first Service Pack. And the Redmond company pointed from the get go that Vista SP1 will be nothing more than a standard release, not even close to XP SP2. In this case, a germination period of two years seems highly unlikely. Microsoft has been cooking Vista SP1 for a while now and even running it "in utero" so to speak. A more reliable prediction is that Vista SP1 will also make it to the market within a year of the operating system's availability. It only remains to be seen if the counting started on November 30, 2006 or on January 30, 2007.Microsoft, Windows Vista, Vista SP1