Thursday, December 06, 2007

Announcing Windows Vista SP1 Release Candidate (RC)

The release candidate (RC) of Windows Vista SP1 is available via Microsoft Connect now, and it will also be available to subscribers of TechNet and MDSN by tomorrow. In addition, the RC will be available to the public next week via Microsoft's Download Center.

Changes made since the Beta release of Service Pack 1 :
  • The size of the standalone installers have decreased significantly. For example, the standalone installer packages consisting of all 36 languages (x86 and x64 chip architectures) are smaller by over 50%. The standalone installer packages consisting of just the 5 languages (again, x86 and x64) slated for initial release are more than 30% smaller in size.
  • The required amount of disc space for SP1 installation has also decreased significantly. Furthermore, with the RC, if more space is required to install SP1, an error message will now display exactly how much space is needed to complete the installation.
  • Previous SP1 versions left behind a directory of files that wasn't needed after installation and occupied about 1GB of space; the RC includes automatic disk clean-up to remove this directory.
  • Installation reliability has been improved based on bug reports and error codes reported from Windows Update . Testing shows that these improvements have significantly increased the proportion of successful installations of the RC.
  • We've improved the user experience of installing SP1 via Windows Update. During the Beta release, users installed without much guidance from Windows Update. The RC now contains a series of screens with detailed information on SP1.
These improvements were really needed. Many of these improvements have been considered as a result of feedback from beta testers. I know being a beta tester as I also had faced problems while trying out the beta.

Windows Vista Team Blog also informs that "..we're on track to complete and release SP1 in the first quarter of 2008. When SP1 is complete and we reach our release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone, then shortly after the standalone installer will be released to the Web in two waves. The first wave will consist of the standalone installer (x86 and x64) for the 5 initial languages -- English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese. These languages will be deployed shortly after the RTM milestone. The second wave will launch 8-12 weeks after the first and will consist of all remaining languages, for both chip architectures (x86 and x64).

For administrators managing Windows Vista PCs configured to use Windows Update but not wishing to deploy SP1 upon its release, we have a "blocker patch" that will prevent installation of SP1. Information on the blocker patch can be found here starting tomorrow: "

Those not familiar with SP1, can find more information in this whitepaper

So, here I go for downloading Vista SP1 RC. Thanks for bringing these improvements !!

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