Microsoft Releases Two Vista Updates

Microsoft Tuesday quietly posted two updates for Windows Vista that appear to be the first major portions of the company’s upcoming service pack for the newest version of Windows.

While a Microsoft  spokesperson would not actually characterize the two updates as parts of Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), similar updates as well as hot fixes have normally been rolled into service packs released by the company in the past.

Rumors have abounded in recent weeks that Microsoft had released pre-beta code of SP1 to a select group of testers, but the company has steadfastly declined to confirm or deny those rumblings.

Meanwhile, the two updates will be released via automatic updates “in the near future,” according to a company statement. That could come as early as next week when the company makes its regular monthly “Patch Tuesday” code drop.

The first of the two updates is described as meant to improve the “reliability and compatibility” of Vista. Many of the issues that particular update addresses are related to video displays, including situations where the screen might go suddenly blank or playback of video is poor on some monitors.

The second update is described as addressing “performance” and mostly deals with sluggish system responses in various situations as well as several data corruption issues.

However, a company spokesperson would not go so far as to confirm that the updates will actually be part of the promised first Vista service pack or provide any further information about when SP1 will be available.

“For Windows Vista, our current expectation is that a beta will be made available sometime this year,” the spokesperson said in a statement e-mailed to

In fact, the company has said previously that SP1 will fix issues raised by search giant Google regarding how that company’s search engine (and others’) can be used as the default desktop search engine in Vista.

The two updates can be found here and here.

The spokesperson also would not confirm reports that Microsoft has also released pre-beta code for Windows XP SP3.

“We are currently planning to deliver SP3 for Windows XP in the first half of 2008. This date is preliminary, and we don’t have any more details to share at this time,” the spokesperson’s statement said.

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