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Will Windows Service Pack History Repeat Itself?

Mary Jo Foley: One of my editors at Redmond magazine — the ever-doubting Ed Scannell — recently posed an interesting hypothetical question about the future of Windows. Might Microsoft yank some features planned for Windows 7 and put them into a Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 2 that would include not just fixes, but also new features?

In other words: Could Windows history repeat itself, with Vista SP2 taking the form of a whole new operating system release — in everything other than name — a la Windows XP SP2?

Microsoft officials said last year not to expect Vista SP1 to be anything like XP SP2. Vista SP1 was designed to be a collection of fixes and patches, aimed at improving security, reliability and performance. But the ‘Softies haven’t said anything about their thinking in regard to Vista SP2. Might Microsoft use the next Vista SP to deliver some of the features that otherwise might have to wait for Windows 7, currently slated for 2010?

As tasty as that option might sound to some, I’d give it a very low likelihood for a few reasons.

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