Hi there, Mike Nash here.
As you know we are getting ready to talk about Windows 7 at the PDC next week. Before we do that, I thought I would give you an update on our latest work for Windows Vista.
We are committed to continually improving Windows, and we've been getting some questions about the timing of the next service pack for Windows Vista. Following the success of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 last spring, we have been working hard on Windows Vista Service Pack 2. As a part of the development and testing process, we're going to start by providing a small group of Technology Adoption Program customers with Windows Vista SP2 Beta for evaluation next Wednesday, October 29. The final release date for Windows Vista SP2 will be based on quality. So we'll track customer and partner feedback from the beta program before setting a final date for the release.
Windows Vista SP2 Beta contains previously released fixes focused on addressing specific reliability, performance, and compatibility issues. We expect Windows Vista SP2 will retain compatibility with applications that run on Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP1 and are written using public APIs.
Because we've adopted a single serviceability model, these improvements are integrated into a single service pack covering both Windows Vista (client) and Windows Server 2008 (server) versions. This should also minimize deployment and testing complexity for our customers.
In addition to previously released updates since the launch of Windows Vista SP1, Windows Vista SP2 contains changes focused on supporting new types of hardware and adding support for several emerging standards:
Windows Vista SP2 adds Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches.
Windows Vista SP2 contains the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology.
Ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista.
Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration.
Windows Vista SP2 enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones.
One question I know that you will ask is "should I wait for SP2?" The reality is that Windows Vista SP1 is a great platform that is both available on new Windows PCs and available as a free download for systems that are running the "gold" release of Windows Vista. While we will recommend SP2 when it ships, your best bet today is Windows Vista SP1.
I look forward to sharing more about Windows Vista SP2 in the future - stay tuned!