Microsoft has announced that their beta software of their new Service Pack #1 release candidate [RC] for Vista will be made public next week from their download site. Though the service pack has been tested by private testers, this will be the first time that the public will get to take a look at the new software, enhancements and updates. After the release I am sure that there will be many stories both pro and con concerning what the service pack does and doesn’t do.

Here is what you can expect from the RC:

  • The size of the standalone installers have decreased significantly. For example, the standalone installer packages consisting of all 36 languages (x86 and x64 chip architectures) are smaller by over 50%. The standalone installer packages consisting of just the 5 languages (again, x86 and x64) slated for initial release are more than 30% smaller in size.
  • The required amount of disc space for SP1 installation has also decreased significantly. Furthermore, with the RC, if more space is required to install SP1, an error message will now display exactly how much space is needed to complete the installation.
  • Previous SP1 versions left behind a directory of files that wasn’t needed after installation and occupied about 1GB of space; the RC includes automatic disk clean-up to remove this directory.
  • Installation reliability has been improved based on bug reports and error codes reported from Windows Update (thanks, Beta testers!). Testing shows that these improvements have significantly increased the proportion of successful installations of the RC.
  • We’ve improved the user experience of installing SP1 via Windows Update. During the Beta release, users installed without much guidance from Windows Update. The RC now contains a series of screens with detailed information on SP1.

Please remember that this is test software and should be used with caution.

Comments welcome.

Microsoft blog site here.

[tags] microsoft, windows, vista, service pack 1, public, release, testing, [/tags]