It's unusual, but confirmation of the availability of Windows Vista's first service pack came Tuesday not from Microsoft Corp., but from the U.S. Department of Justice. Tucked into the government's 27-page joint status settlement report released late Tuesday was evidence that Microsoft will put the beta of Vista SP1 into users' hands before the end of the year. The report also confirmed Windows XP SP3, but did not specify beta or final release dates, although it said some code would be finalized this summer.
Microsoft has been loath to talk about either service pack, but has been particularly mum about Windows Vista SP1, a widely-anticipated bug update that some enterprise users are waiting on before deploying the new operating system. As recently as April, when Intel Corp.'s CEO Paul Otellini hinted that Vista SP1 would likely release in October or November, Microsoft refused to confirm any schedule. "We will continue to take customer feedback from programs like the TAP [Technology Adoption Program], and will ultimately determine an official delivery date as the service pack is nearer to completion," a company spokeswoman said at the time.