Vista SP1 beta coming next week?

Microsoft could be set to release a beta version of Vista Service Pack 1 as early as next week, according to the online rumour mill.

Vista SP1 beta coming next week?

ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley claims sources close to the company believe the beta will be released during the week beginning July 16. If that proves to be true, the final version of SP1 would be set for release around November alongside Windows Server 2008.

Microsoft had originally planned to deliver SP1 late this year. However, that was widely expected to be delayed following a statement from the US Department of Justice last week, which claimed: “Microsoft anticipates that beta code will be available by the end of the year.”

Microsoft may been persuaded to act quickly following indifferent sales of Vista. Last month Gartner analyst George Shiffler claimed that “the release of Microsoft Windows Vista operating system at the end of January has, so far, failed to stimulate the market in the way many hoped.”

With many businesses potentially holding out for Service Pack 1 before they begin migration from Windows XP, Microsoft may have concluded that it needs to regain the impetus.

One potential fly in the ointment for Microsoft is Google, which is pressuring the US Department of Justice to force Microsoft to open up Vista’s desktop search to rival search engines. This was expected to be implemented in SP1, potentially delaying the pack’s launch.

Microsoft has refused to comment on the speculation.

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