Microsoft sends Vista SP2 invites - beta release in 4 weeks

Thanks to a tipster we have learned Microsoft has started sending Vista SP2 and Server 2008 SP2 invites to select testers today.

Earlier this week it was revealed the company will release SP2 before Windows 7. Microsoft recently put a placeholder online for the upcoming betas of Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2.

Microsoft will include Windows Search 4 in Vista SP2 along with Bluetooth wireless support (including latest BT 2.1 fixes), support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU and additional application compatibility updates.

For Windows Server 2008 SP2, Microsoft will include Backwards compatibility with Terminal Services licensing keys, improved manageability features with DFS/FRS console, and Storage Resource Manager, print server and spooler performance improvements for printers in Windows Vista and Server 2008 and improved error reporting in DFSR to help identify incorrectly configured deployments which lead to failed replication.

Both builds are "anticipated" to be released within the next four weeks.

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I couldn't even install SP1 on my Vista Ultimate x64 installation. I nearly had to reinstall after it failed to boot and then failed to restore. Running repair/restore from a recovery CD instead of the hard drive worked though. With all that hassle, I will keep up with the updates but I will not again be attempting a service pack installation any time soon.

I changed my email recently, so i suppose i wont receive any invites soon... I had that email for 8 years, it was getting too much spammed for my taste... But now im no longer a MSN butterfly and all those things.

Have been using VISTA happily on my new Toshiba laptop for about 2 months now and I am very pleased. Everybody for their own of course but me myself will not look back at XP now. I look forward to SP2 even if it just means hotfixes and updates rolled up, with my slow internet connection if will be very useful if I have to re-install.

Beta SP2, Sounds interesting! I won't be beta testing this as i don't like testing service packs that are in beta on my machine im waiting for it to be fully released :)

PS: If SP2 is in beta... then what features are new to be tested?

Running Vista 32-bit Ultimate SP1 with Athlon 64 and 4GB of RAM. Radeon X1650
I have zero problems with bluetooth or anything else, so I am not anxiously awaiting SP2 or anything.
Don't get me wrong, I will install it. However, I am thinking seriously of baselining the drive and installing Vista Business 64-bit anyway. I don't need any of the Ultimate extras and would like to use that other GB of RAM. I have been using Vista since early beta and really saw no issues at all.

Buncha whining pansies. If it wasn't for that pretty graphical UI, most of the complainers wouldn't be using a computer at all!

One thing I would like is the ability to upgrade the existing 32-bit OS to 64-bit without having to track down and reinstall everything. That is something to complain about.

Doesn't "Windows Easy Transfer" do what you need as far as settings, docs, etc.? You'd still have to install some applications, but you'd want to do that for the 64-bit native ones anyway (if you are using any).

Are there any improvements for the average user with SP2? I read the last part of the article, but couldn't see anything for general users other than improved printing? lol i dunno

Is there a more complete list of improvements, or even someone with a general idea of anything to be addressed?

Or is this mainly a bunch of bugfixes/tweaks, and nothing worth getting too excited about?

dewaaz said,
Are there any improvements for the average user with SP2? I read the last part of the article, but couldn't see anything for general users other than improved printing? lol i dunno

Is there a more complete list of improvements, or even someone with a general idea of anything to be addressed?

Or is this mainly a bunch of bugfixes/tweaks, and nothing worth getting too excited about?

including latest BT 2.1 fixes), support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU and additional application compatibility updates.

If Microsoft suddenly fixes everything people complain about in Vista SP2.... people will start complaining how "Windows 7 sucks" and "I'll stick Vista forever"

mocax said,
If Microsoft suddenly fixes everything people complain about in Vista SP2.... people will start complaining how "Windows 7 sucks" and "I'll stick Vista forever"

They'll be doing that anyway, once 7 is out.

They share the exact same core, of course, so Windows 7 is as much a marketing/polishing/new cool features release. I'm sure that this is the reason everything has been so fast tracked with 7...wipe away the Vista negativity, get the market back on track post XP.

What happened to Windows Server 2003 SP3? Hope that releases with Vista SP2 - just like XP SP3 did with Vista SP1...

pjak said,
What happened to Windows Server 2003 SP3? Hope that releases with Vista SP2 - just like XP SP3 did with Vista SP1...

I have been wondering the same thing myself. But I suspect they are trying align it maybe with a release also for Windows Server 2003 x64 and XP Professional x64 since those are built off the NT 5.2 codebase. Its a lot of work, since you also have the Small Business Server SKU's to think about.

Ahh the old XP vs Vista thing again, if you dont like Vista don't bag a service pack.. thats just silly.. both operating systems are good for different things. One isn't as bad as the other, its just a matter of personal preference.

Vista is amazing enough already for me - much better & faster than XP ever was, so I look forward to seeing what they improve on with this Service Pack 2 release!

Agreed. I have a laptop that would like to have full Bluetooth support, since you only have a couple of items (mostly audio) supported now. Hopefully this will ungimp smartphones etc. with Vista.

I am running Vista Enterprise SP1 64 bit and after disabling some of the visual effects (still retaining Aero Glass), its actually usable.

AMD Sempron 1.6 GHz
512 MBs of RAM
nVidia Geforce FX 5200 128 MB AGP

Mr. Dee said,
AMD Sempron 1.6 GHz
512 MBs of RAM
nVidia Geforce FX 5200 128 MB AGP

Celeron D 2.5ghz
1GB Ram
nVidia Geforce FX 5200 256MB PCI

And Vista works fine on RTM or SP1.

statm1 said,

Celeron D 2.5ghz
1GB Ram
nVidia Geforce FX 5200 256MB PCI

And Vista works fine on RTM or SP1.

I would love to upgrade my RAM to 1 GB but I'm kinda broke right now.

Mr. Dee said,
I am running Vista Enterprise SP1 64 bit and after disabling some of the visual effects (still retaining Aero Glass), its actually usable.

AMD Sempron 1.6 GHz
512 MBs of RAM
nVidia Geforce FX 5200 128 MB AGP

512 MB RAM is a bit low for Vista.

Mr. Dee said,


I would love to upgrade my RAM to 1 GB but I'm kinda broke right now.


Is memory really that expensive? o.O A 1gb stick is less than one fill-up at the pump these days.

This isn't going to help Vista out any. It's just to big a pile of crap!

And it is to soon, but it's obvious MS will try anything to make a buck!!
I say that because they are just trying to find a way to kill all the opinions of what kind of trash Vista is. Roll those service packs out!!

"And it is to soon, but it's obvious MS will try anything to make a buck!!"

you do realize that SP's are free? go fork linux into your computer, please, and stop complaining

cork1958 said,
And it is to soon, but it's obvious MS will try anything to make a buck!!


Someone obviously doesn't know that Service Packs are free!!!!!

statm1 said,
@Virtorio: People are just mad that Windows Mojave are messing up all their hard work at bashing Vista.

Mojave is a joke, they didn't force anyone to try installing drivers for odd hardware or old software that isn't compatible.

I cannot see why people ALWAYS have to complain about microsoft, they don't seem to be able to do anything right in peoples eyes It's either too early, too late or the name is wrong :p

I guess SP2 isn't good news for people?

I mean, look at Apple, it seems there is a 10.5.x version every 2-3 months to me, and that IS positive in peoples eyes. People don't seem to get that that's their version of Service Packs / Rollup updates.

And Linux? to me it seems there ALWAYS is an active beta of ubuntu, which seems to be the most used linux distro today? (correct me if i'm wrong), and i don't hear people complaining about that.

And i never hear people complaining about the names of the products from apple or the various linux distros
I mean, i really don't care, but apple seems to me to be the least imaginative company; iPod,iPhone,iMac,iLife.
What does it take for people to complain about other companies than microsoft?

Please, this is good news, and i'm hoping I get an invite, although it does not seem i will get one this round.

People; please use the thing inside your sculls for more important matters, other than complaining about stuff that isn't even released!"#�%&/(�#

I totally agree with you and this has always been my standpoint.

I can already see the drama at work when SP2 comes out "OH NOOOOOO SP2 IT WILL DESTROY EVERYTHINGGGGG IT IS GONNA SLOW EVERYTHING DOWN ETC ETC ETC ETC"

People, SP2 is here to solve problems and add stuff that we can use, think of it as a positive thingy

So my lack in participation during the Vista SP1 BETA worked in me not getting on this beta. Yes! Its interesting they are once again adding features to Service Packs.

Beta testing doesn't start for a month, it'll be in beta for a good few months afterward so it'll be a solid year since the previous SP. I think that's plenty of time.
Besides, didn't anyone consider that despite Vista's flaws, the OS was designed to be improved upon? The major rewrites in NT 6.0 set the foundation for future OS's, but that'll also mean future updates can be made faster.

yeah i was gonna mention that too. Since the iPhone came out it's had what, 5 updates already? The new Macbooks just came out and there's a update for them on LAUNCH day! I would wish to get some of the bugs from Windows Mobile fixed that fast!

Anyways, not turning this into a Vista vs OS X thing but i'm glad they are at least starting testing already. The way i see it is if you fix the system earlier while it has full fledged support you can cut down on extended support and therefore save some money. Can you imagine training your NEW hires how to fix Windows NT if they get such a support call?

Amazing how people complain when they don't update and then when they do it's too early. Yet never complaints when Mac OS has a new point release every other month or so.

I know. I suspect that if Microsoft packaged every box of windows with a free chocolate bar, people would bash Microsoft for that and claim the bar was badly made, offered no new features, and was incompatible with their hardware. And then when Microsoft stops including the free chocolate bar, people would demand a free chocolate bar!

There's just no pleasing some people. Now go buy a chocolate bar. You know you want to.


*this message sponsored by the international brotherhood of chocolateteers and confectioners.

;)

This isn't too soon imo. A new SP every year or 1 1/2 years is needed. Don't let the long delay between SP2 for XP and SP3 throw you off.

GP007 said,
This isn't too soon imo. A new SP every year or 1 1/2 years is needed. Don't let the long delay between SP2 for XP and SP3 throw you off.

NT 4's service pack cycle was most interesting, at least two per year:
SP 1 - Oct. 96
SP 2 - Dec. 96
SP 3 - May 97
SP 4 - Oct 98
SP 5 - May 99
SP 6 - Nov. 99
SP 6a - Nov 99

theyarecomingforyou said,
Yeah, service packs should be released frequently as a collection of hotfixes and tweaks. With XP they were very slow at releasing them and I think that was a mistake.

Service Packs are not that detrimentals as they use to be. Windows Update and WSUS has pretty much replaced the need for SPs. They served a purpose at a time where bandwidth was a luxury and the ability to have some predictability with your roll outs was important.

Don't get me wrong, they still are important for persons who don't have an internet connection, or not fast enough to do a download of the post updates after installing say the RTM. There are heap of updates for Vista post SP1 already.

SP1 RTM was Feb 4th, 2008 and we're half way through Oct 2008 and beta testing for SP2 starts in 1 month? Seems a little early in my book but anything that makes Vista stable is a win in my book (even though I still use XP).

I'm still holding onto my gut feeling that this very well could be the last service pack Vista will see. Just have a feeling MS will drop Vista like a bad habit and put a lot of marketing behind Win 7.

thealexweb said,
The end of mainstream support for Vista is in 2011 (can't remember exact date) so they may have to provide one in 2010, 2011 yet.

who knows they might consider extending mainsteam support tho

that doesnt make sense home premium have extended support till 2017 , vista ultimate support end in 2012 with no extended support o.0

thealexweb said,
The end of mainstream support for Vista is in 2011 (can't remember exact date) so they may have to provide one in 2010, 2011 yet.

In addition to that, there is the update roll up, which has not even been released for XP yet.

Skynetfuture said,

who knows they might consider extending mainsteam support tho

that doesnt make sense home premium have extended support till 2017 , vista ultimate support end in 2012 with no extended support o.0

There will be security updates for Vista until November 2016. (All SKUs)

ispamforfood said,
Not all beta programs have NDAs... in fact..... THIS one has yet to present an NDA. So.... ya. Nothing to enforce, nothing to complain about.

You don't need an active NDA to cover the email as it is stated it was "not for reproduction".

But that does not seem to matter to some people, and yes statm1 MS should enforce the rules a little harder. Less whiners that way me thinks.

S.

Personally I don't think they are rushing it, they know better now one would think, that is what they have tried to tell us since the last time.

Anyway, I can't see from this article why you think they are rushing it?

While I'm not interested in beta testing it personally (I don't even have Vista installed currently; doing some rearranging of my archives at the moment and such), its good to see them working to get this out quickly. Let's just hope its not buggy.