Vista Service Pack 2 Released to Manufacturing

Microsoft announced late yesterday that it has released the second service pack for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 to manufacturing, but it will still be some time before it’s actually in customers’ hands.

“Today we are announcing the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) of Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008,” Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) blogger Brandon LeBlanc said on the Windows Blog.

Microsoft is hoping that release of SP2 will help spur corporate deployments that have been on hold as most IT shops wait for Windows 7 to ship.

The first service pack for Vista, named SP1, reached the RTM stage in early February 2008.

It finally reached public download some six weeks later.

SP2 went into beta test early last December. In March, Microsoft shipped the Release Candidate of SP2 — the final testing phase before a product reaches RTM.

Microsoft has not yet said precisely when Vista SP2 will be released to the public, although it has said SP2 will be out this quarter.

Windows Vista was highly touted when Microsoft first delivered it to corporate customers in November 2006, but the overwhelming response to Vista’s release has been been mixed at best. Few IT shops adopted it and, eventually, a majority of corporate customers decided to instead wait for Windows 7, which will likely go on sale later this year.

Still, Microsoft continues to show a commitment to supporting Vista, which includes issuing service packs. Additionally, however, the company would still like to see customers buy Vista machines now rather than wait until next fall or winter. The release of a SP2 may help that along. The move might also help PC sales, which have been sputtering for months.

“Business customers with Windows Vista will find that the transition from Windows Vista to Windows 7 will be significantly more straightforward due to the high degree of compatibility between Windows Vista and Windows 7,” LeBlanc wrote in his post.

The new service pack includes all of the patches that Microsoft has delivered since the release of SP1. Additionally, SP2 includes Windows Search 4.0, the Bluetooth 2.1 feature pack, and the capability to record data on Blu-Ray discs natively in Vista.

It also will enable the file system to maintain file synchronization across time zones, according to LeBlanc.

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