Just six months following the general availability of Windows Vista, Microsoft is getting ready to deliver the first beta build for the operating system in mid July 2007. Vista users should expect SP1 anytime between Monday July 16 and Sunday July 22, according to a report from Mary Jo Foley. In this context, the Redmond company outdid itself and indeed has chances to deliver the final version of Vista's first service pack by the end of the year.
Vista SP1 was initially planned for the end of 2007. Various sources within Microsoft but also from outside the company - such as Intel CEO Paul Otellini - pointed to a potential November 2007 release date for Vista SP1. The Redmond company then changed its tune, and muted all details related to Vista SP1, even providing the perspective that the service pack was going to be nothing more than a standard refresh for the operating system, and that Windows Update would come into focus instead.
However, the first beta for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 will drop as early as next week. Microsoft did confirm officially that Vista SP1 beta will be launched before November 12, 2007. This detail was provided as a reaction to Google's mounting pressure associated with the Windows Desktop Search alterations planned for Vista SP1. With the Mountain View search giant pressing for an availability date for the service pack, Microsoft disclosed the possibility of a beta release before November.
The availability of a July beta version for Vista SP1 reveals the possibility of a final launch for November 2007. This would synchronize the release of Vista SP1 with the RTM date of Windows Server 2008, formerly codenamed Longhorn. And it appears that while the public information for Vista SP1 from Microsoft was ambivalent, oscillating between a non existent service pack and the late 2007 delivery, the Redmond company is going to stick with its initial plan to deliver Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1 simultaneously.