In another move coming out of nowhere, unconfirmed and unannounced through official channels, Microsoft has now apparently started serving the 64-bit variant of Vista SP1 RTM to end users. The availability of the first service pack for Windows Vista does by no means fall under the category of standard Microsoft releases. In fact, the Redmond company has been feeding end users bits and pieces of the service pack, managing to build
up a healthy level of frustration, even if the Vista SP1 is on the immediate horizon. The sinuous course Microsoft has chosen to serve the gold bits of Vista SP1 began with the fact that the first taste of SP1 failed to coincide with general availability.
According to Mike Nash, Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Management, the delivery of Vista SP1 RTM was pushed as far back as mid-March, in an effort to ensure an as smooth as possible process, starting with the download and finishing with the installation experience. Since it tried to avoid Vista SP1 running into similar device driver incompatibility problems as the RTM version of the latest Windows client, Microsoft simply cut access to the final build of the service pack until what now seems to be March 18
Still, Microsoft is now diverging yet again from the initial roadmap outlined for Windows Vista SP1. Hexus
has reported that the x64 version of Vista SP1 is available for download via Windows Update. The download weighs between 120 MB and 711 .6 MB and comes as an Important update under the label "Windows Vista Service Pack 1 for x64 Systems (KB936330)." Microsoft has yet to reveal if it has indeed released 64-bit Vista SP1 RTM through Windows Update.
The company has backpedaled once in the past as far as Vista SP1 is concerned, by offering the service pack to beta testers, Volume License customers and MSDN and TechNet plus subscribers the past week, ahead of the dates announced initially. As far as I can tell, users of 32-bit Vista still have to wait until mid-March to get their hands on SP1.