Today we are pleased to pre-announce the Release to Web (RTW) of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.  SP2, a combined service pack for both operating systems encapsulated in a single installer, will simplify deployment, management, and support for IT Pros.  It includes support for new types of hardware and emerging hardware standards, as well as updates since SP1.  For specific information on what’s included in SP2, visit the notable changes document.

We have posted SP2 for download on our Download Center and Windows Update.   Consumers with Windows Vista SP1 can visit the Download Center or Windows Update (WU) to install SP2, but our best advice is to turn on Automatic Update (AU) and sometime during the coming months your computer will download and install SP2.  Similar to previous releases, SP2 delivery over AU is a throttled release which will begin in June. Business customers who require additional time to prepare for the download and deployment of SP2 can use the same blocker tool kit provided for Windows Vista SP1 to delay deployment.

If you are a Windows Server 2008 customer that needs increased management of SP2, we recommend using Automatic Updates/Group Policy and Windows Software Update Services (WSUS). Customers who require additional time to prepare for the download and deployment of SP2 can download the blocker tool kit to prevent SP2 from installing for up to 12 months. We hope these tools will help streamline your testing and deployment of SP2.

Business customers with Windows Vista will find the transition to Windows 7 will be significantly more straightforward due to the high degree of compatibility between Windows Vista and Windows 7.  If your Windows Vista SP1 deployment is already underway we recommend you continue with SP1 as planned.  Then you can deploy SP2 using your systems management infrastructure.  If you are in the early stages of deployment or still planning Windows Vista deployment our best advice is that you plan on testing and deploying Windows Vista SP2. 

Download the Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 here.