Rumors that Microsoft is planning to release SP2 for Vista prior to releasing Windows 7 does not at all seem unrealistic – seeing as Microsoft itself has confirmed that SP2 is indeed in the works. No comment was made of exact time lines, however.
Some rumors indicate that Microsoft may have already shipped beta versions of SP2 to select hardware and software partners along with early builds of Windows 7. Microsoft has created a place holder Knowledge Base Article on October 2 related to the forthcoming SP2 betas, piquing the interests of anyone who has taken notice.
There haven’t been any reports from testers mentioning any of the features due out in Vista SP2 or Windows Server 2008 SP2/R2 – however, Mary Jo Foley over at ZDNet blogs claims sources have provided the following information:
« “Microsoft’s goal is to deliver both SP2 releases before it delivers Windows 7 in order to lessen confusion among users as to whether to deploy Vista and Windows Server 2008 — or to wait for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 (a k a Windows 7 Server). Currently, Microsoft is believed to be attempting to RTM Windows 7 in the second half of 2009. The Softies have said Windows Server 2008 R2 is on track for 2010.” »
« “Because Microsoft is trying to keep Windows client and server code in lock-step, Windows Server 2008 was built around the Vista SP1 codebase. That’s why the first standalone service pack for Server 2008 is being called SP2. As many customers still are reticent to deploy a new OS until the first standalone SP goes out, Microsoft also is pushing to get SP2 for server out there to convince these users to consider upgrading. “ »
According to a spokesperson for the Vista team: “Microsoft is working on a second Windows Vista server pack (Windows Vista SP2) and will share more details in the coming months.” A spokesperson for the Server team says “The comment (above) serves for Windows Server as well; Microsoft is not commenting further on the timing/release plans for WS08 SP2 at this time, but will share more details in the coming months.”
Some of us are already aware that Microsoft is to release a public Beta 1 of Windows 7 in mid-December of this year. There has been no mention of Beta 1 for Server 2008 however, but we could speculate that it is to take place either around the same time or shortly there-after.
Some people may be looking forward to the release of a second service pack for the Vista platform while others might turn a blind eye as they stick with Windows XP and wait to see what Windows “7” brings to the plate. 61 percent of consumers, according to Gartner survey data, are skipping Windows Vista all together – a lot of these people are comparing the release of Vista to the release of Windows ME. Technology aside, it’s the timing, and no need for it right now – seems to be a general consensus among those wanting to skip.
An even larger portion are starting to think that Windows 7 will not be much different from Vista – clearly showing a lack of faith in Microsoft lately. At Gartner Symposium ITxpo that took place in Orlando – Microsoft Steve Ballmer spoke via Q&A with Gartner analysts Neil MacDonald and David Mitchell Smith.
Ballmer first defended Vista like he had at last year’s Gartner show, claiming, “The adoption rate of Vista is two times faster than XP at two years in.” He had also noted that there were compatibility issues as well. “We had great success with security and starting to see a ramp with adoption.”
Ballmer was also asked why Windows 7 is considered a major release instead of just the second revision of Vista. His reply was: “It’s not a minor because it’s a lot more work than a minor release. It’s a major release.” He also noted that Windows 7 will improve the operating system shell. “Windows 7 will be Vista, but a lot better,” and “If people want to wait, they can.”