Vista service pack beta released

Service packs released for Windows XP, Office 2007 and others as well

Microsoft has issued the first Release Candidate of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Administrators who have plans to upgrade their users' copies of Microsoft Windows Vista can now install SP1 on a test machine to see how systemwide deployment would work.

Microsoft warned that, since the release is still in beta form, additional changes may be made before the final release.

The final release is scheduled for sometime in first-quarter 2008.

The service pack is about 450M in its basic stand-alone form. Notable additions include:
  • Support for the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface industry standard PC firmware (the replacement for BIOS)
  • Improvements in application compatibility
  • Fixes to common problems that causes Vista to crash, notably those with Windows Calendar, Windows Media Player and a number of drivers.
  • Better power management techniques.
  • A compilation of all the Security Bulletin fixes issued since Vista's release.
  • Support for additional encryption algorithms used in Internet Protocol security.
  • A pseudo-random number generator that uses the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Elliptical Curve Cryptography.
  • Increased interoperability support with the Windows Server 2008, to be released next year.

Microsoft has also released service packs for some of its other products as well, most notably SP3 for Windows XP'the last service pack for XP, the company claims on its Web site.

The company has also released a service pack for Microsoft Office 2007 and for the Microsoft Office family of servers, including SharePoint Server 2007, Office Project Server 2007, Office Forms Server 2007 and Office Groove Server 2007.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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