Microsoft Expands Testing of Vista SP2

This afternoon Microsoft’s Mike Nash announced that the company is opening up the Windows Vista SP2 beta to a broader audience.

According to Nash’s blog, MSDN and TechNet subscribers will have access to the Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 Beta starting today. However, the beta service pack will also become available for a larger audience on Wednesday, December 4 through a Customer Preview Program (CPP) hosted on TechNet. The beta actually kicked off in late October, commencing with a small group of Technology Adoption Program customers.

Windows Vista SP2 contains all the previous updates contained in Service Pack 1, but adds support for new types of hardware as well as adding support for "several emerging standards." This includes the ability to record on Blu-ray media natively, the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack that supports the most recent specifications for Bluetooth Technology, and the new Windows Connect Now that supposedly simplifies Wi-Fi configuration.

Nash also mentions in his blog that the beta will be available to those interested in trying out the upcoming service pack, but the CPP is actually intended for technology enthusiasts, developers, and IT Pros who want to see how their applications and environments react to the service pack before it officially goes live.

"For most customers, our best advice would be to wait until the final release prior to installing this service pack," he said. "For those of you who choose to test this service pack, we encourage you to install the beta as soon as you can; your feedback will help us to ship a solid and stable service pack for Windows Vista."

Nash emphasizes Microsoft’s commitment in supporting Windows Vista despite all the hoopla surrounding the upcoming Windows 7 operating system; Service Pack 2 is supposed to be "the proof that’s in the pudding" so to speak. For a more detailed list on what Service Pack 2 will bring to Server 2008 and Vista, check out Microsoft’s official update here.

The final version of Service Pack 2 is expected to officially go live in the first half of 2009, Nash said.

  • Chipi
    December 4th is Thursday, not Wednesday
    You disappoint me once again :|
  • neiroatopelcc
    It's kinda not fair to determine the quality of an os by the number of service packs it gets. I mean nt4 wasn't bad - and it got 6 of them! also 2000 got 4 ...
  • wht1986
    From the release notes "Adds support for exFAT, a file system that supports larger overall capacity and the larger files that are used in Flash memory storage and consumer devices". Wonder if that would help with some of the SSD writes issues that Vista sometimes exhibits.
  • Chipi
    WTF? exFAT is already available with Vista SP1...
  • Kary
    I think exFAT is more for MP3 players/Media would still use NTFS for SSD drives.

    That said, does anyone know of any media players that use exFAT or if Microsoft has re-enabled formatting FAT32 above 32GB for USB/External drives (it's annoying having to use Linux or a third party formatter to do something simply because Microsoft chose to block it and try to force exFAT on everyone).
  • jhansonxi
    Seems to me that exFAT on large drives would have a ridiculous amount of slack space due to huge cluster sizes.