Microsoft releases Vista SP1 beta

Microsoft has released a beta of Vista Service Pack 1 to 12,000 testers.

Microsoft releases Vista SP1 beta

SP1, which is due to be released early next year, promises to bring a series of performance tweaks and bug fixes to the troubled operating system.

Writing on Microsoft’s own Windows Experience Blog, early beta tester Brandon LeBlanc claims that SP1 speeds up the log-in process, and makes Vista generally more responsive.

He also claims battery life has improved on his laptop, connecting an external monitor is no longer troublesome and the problems with wireless network connections dropping has been eradicated. However, all these claims will have to be taken with a pinch of salt until they can be independently verified.

Windows Server 2008

Meanwhile, Microsoft has also unveiled “Release Candidate 0” of Windows Server 2008. A Microsoft spokesman told PC Pro that RC0 means “a progression from beta, but not quite RTM.” Sceptics might suggest that Microsoft is trying to deliver on its promise of final code before the end of the year, without actually doing it.

Microsoft insists it has taken the unusual step of an RC0 release to satisfy customer demand. “RC0 is feature complete, but not quite far along enough the road to be RC1,” says Gareth Hall, Windows Server Product manager. “Customers have been saying we need a feature complete version.”

Hall says that “it’s likely we’ll do an RC1” before the product is finally launched in late February.

RC0 brings with it the first public release of Windows Server virtualisation, codenamed Viridian. Microsoft’s Windows Server Blog claims “now is the time for organisations to start testing with key virtualisation scenarios, such as server consolidation, as well as getting ready for many of the other key features of Windows Server 2008.”

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