Vista SP1 to debut Monday, reports say

Windows Server 2008 also set to release to manufacturing next week, claim others

Microsoft Corp. will release Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) on Monday, Feb. 4, according to reports Friday from Tech, a Malaysian Web site. Editor's note: SP1 was released to manufacturing on Monday.

Other sources, meanwhile, claimed that Windows Server 2008 will also reach RTM (release to manufacturing) in the coming week. (Editor's note: Windows Server 2008 was publicly announced at 9 a.m. EST Monday. Our review of the software is now available online.)

Vista SP1 will make RTM on Monday, said Tech ARP, with computer makers receiving media later in the week to install the updated operating system on new laptops and desktops. Bits will also be posted for download on Monday, the site claimed.

"Microsoft will be deploying SP1 in two 'waves,'" said Tech ARP. The first, on Monday, will include just five of the 36 available language packs -- English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish. The second wave, slated for one to two weeks later, will include all 36 language packs.

Previously, Microsoft has said it would break SP1 into two stand-alone installers for businesses: a 450MB package that includes the five packs and a 550MB installer that offers three-dozen languages. Both are expected to be available for download from Microsoft's Web site.

SP1 will also be offered to users through Windows Update, Microsoft Update and presumably Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). That update will weigh in at around 65MB. Microsoft explained the smaller size in a change log posted to its support site: "Windows Update ... utilizes an efficient transfer mechanism to download only the actual bytes changed."

Microsoft last issued an SP1 build on Jan. 24, when it updated the code offered to an invite-only group of approximately 15,000 testers. That build, along with one the week before, gave credence to accounts that SP1's pace had quickened, and that the service pack's release was imminent. At that time, a report out of Taiwan pegged SP1's RTM as Feb. 15.

Microsoft repeated Saturday what it has said all along: Vista SP1 would go final in the first quarter of 2008, which ends March 31.

"We are targeting to deliver SP1 RTM in Q1 CY08," a spokeswoman said in an e-mail. Representatives of the Windows Server team, however, were not available for comment. The company has previously announced plans to launch Windows Server 2008 on Feb. 27 at an event in Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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