Overnight Microsoft announced availability dates for several key product updates including Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista, Service Pack 3 for Windows XP and the release to manufacturing of Windows Server 2008. 

Together these releases are a good example of Microsoft’s commitment to continually improving our products and the support licensed software users receive. 

Windows Vista Service Pack (SP1) - Windows Vista continues to do well in the marketplace and we have developed Windows Vista SP1 in response to that customer feedback.  The pack will address specific reliability and performance issues, support new hardware and support several emerging standards.  However, organisations can benefit from the security, management and deployment benefits of Windows Vista today without waiting for SP1.

We are currently planning to deliver the first Service Pack for Windows Vista in Q1 of the 2008 calendar year, but will collect customer feedback from our upcoming beta before setting a final date.  The SP1 beta will be released to approximately 10-15,000 private beta testers in a few weeks. For more information visit

http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2007/08/29/announcing-the-windows-vista-service-pack-1-beta.aspx

 

Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) – Windows XP SP3 will be a rollup that includes all previously released updates for Windows XP and a small number of new updates.  This will begin beta testing in the next few weeks and we aim to release to manufacturing in the first half of 2008.  Neither the XP or Vista Service Pack is as significant a change as Windows XP SP2 was.

 

Windows Server 2008 - is now slated to release to manufacturing in Q1 of 2008.  The joint global launch of Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 remains 27 February 2008.  We’re releasing Server 2008 to manufacturing a bit later than expected because Microsoft’s first priority is to deliver a quality product to our customers and we need a little more time to meet the high quality bar that we set for ourselves.  For more information visit http://blogs.technet.com/windowsserver/

 

Windows Update - Various performance and reliability updates that were previously available at the Microsoft Download Center were included in the latest Windows Update on August 28. This included updates to handle the imminent change to New Zealand Daylight Savings Time for Windows Vista and XP SP2.  Not all Microsoft products or versions were automatically updated, and we recommend users check www.microsoft.co.nz/timezone for more information.