By Matthew Wade
Windows Vista Service Pack 1 with manufacturers now; due for download release in mid-March
The first software Service Pack (SP1) for Microsoft's Windows Vista and Server 2008 software platforms has been ‘released to manufacturing' and will be available for public download from next month.
Speaking of the development on the company's official Vista blog, Mike Nash from its Windows Product Management group explained: "We have released Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista to manufacturing for our first set of languages - English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese.
"Service Pack 1 is a very important milestone because it addresses many of the key issues that our customers have identified with Windows Vista over the last year both, directly and through programs like the Customer Experience Improvement Program," he added.
With Service Pack 1, Microsoft is claiming to have made major progress in improving the OS' performance, reliability and compatibility with third-party software applications and hardware peripherals.
Admitting some of Vista's initial teething problems, Nash went on: "Some customers had issues finding applications that worked well on Windows Vista; others had problems finding the right device drivers for some of the hardware devices that they used. The reason for these issues is that in order to improve the reliability and security of Windows Vista, we made some important architectural changes to the system. While this caused some issues in the short term, in the long term we know that these investments will improve both the reliability and security of the customer experience on Windows."
Nash also advised readers to check out an MSDN blog post entitled ‘Windows Vista Security One Year Later' for further information and examples (click here ).
According to Microsoft, there are now 78,000 hardware devices and components supported by Windows Vista, up from just 34,000 in November 2006.
The vast majority of beta testing reports on The Active Network website suggest that Microsoft's performance increase claim is correct with many users reporting faster file copy times when using SP1.
Vista SP1 will be released to official Vista users in mid-March via Windows Update and the download centre on www.microsoft.com .