Adrian Wong’s TechARP Web site (here ARP stands for “Adrian’s Rojak Pot” not “Address Resolution Protocol” BTW) has been a reliable source of advance information about upcoming Windows Service packs for some time now. Just before Thanksgiving he disclosed some information about the next Vista Service Pack (Vista SP2, that is) which is probably of great interest to IT professionals who feed and care for Vista installed bases of any size. Apparently SP2 for Windows Server 2008 will also ship on this same schedule (but that’s outside my bailiwick so I won’t say more about it here, though you can find details in the pointers at the end of this blog).
Here’s the scoop on projected dates:
- Windows Vista SP2 release candidate should hit some time in February, 2009
- Windows Vista SP2 RTM (release to manufacturing) should follow a couple of months later, in April, 2009
- Dates for release online and through Windows Update have yet to be determined, but will occur in several waves, by language. As with Vista SP1 and XP SP3, English, German, Japanese, French and Spanish will probably come first, followed by Chinese, Korean, and Brazilian Portugese next, with other languages later still. If those recent releases are any indicator, the first wave will follow about three weeks after RTM, and the second six more weeks after that. Thus, we’re looking into May for the first wave and June or July for the second one.
The major updates in SP2 are said to include the following items:
- Windows Search 4.0, to deliver speedier, more accurate searches on the desktop
- Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack, to deliver support for the more recent Bluetooth Technology spec, especially beneficial for battery life when wireless human interface devices–namely, mice and keyboards–are in use
- native Vista support for burning to Blu-ray disks
- updates to Windows Connect Now (WCN) to offer improved, simplified Wi-Fi Configuration
- adds UCT timestamp support to exFAT file system used on Flash drives, and permits proper time synchronization across time zones
Of course, there will also be the usual roll-up of patches, fixes, and security updates since SP1 became available on 3/4/2008 (RTM, we actually didn’t see it online until about three weeks later in the month). But it looks like there will actually be some useful functionality upgrades, especially for Blu-ray burners, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Flash drive file systems. Likewise, any slippage that occurs will also be interesting to follow (dates may slip out further and are much less likely to slide in closer).
The original source for this information comes from two TechARP editorials:
1. ED#107: Latest Details on Windows Vista Service Pack 2
2. ED#106: Windows Vista Service Pack 2’s Latest Release Schedule