According to the Softpedia website, Microsoft is currently cooking the first public build of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Release Candidate. Since the initial introduction of the first testing bits for the first service pack for Windows Vista in mid July, Microsoft has been fending off and dodging in every way possible all references to the public availability of the refresh. In terms of the final release, the company has pointed out the first quarter of 2008. And as far as a public version ahead of fully fledged service pack is concerned, Microsoft has failed breathing a single word. When it comes down to the development milestones of Vista SP1, all things are quiet over at Microsoft.
But, the fact of the matter is that a development milestone for Vista SP1 will be made public in the immediate future. Sooner than you might think in fact, and it will involve the Release Candidate build of the service pack. "We'll broaden the testing pool of SP1 RC bits soon (very soon), so you'll be able to put Windows Vista SP1 RC through its paces yourself. I think you'll find the experience worthwhile and satisfying," stated Nick White, Product Manager at Microsoft with the Windows Vista launch team.
In all fairness, White actually managed to disclose only an abstract availability date. But, by the end of December 2007, Microsoft will indeed broaden the testing pool of Vista SP1 RC to a much broader audience. Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Release Candidate build 6001.17042 was just a Preview version of the actual RC. The latest signs of life from Redmond revealed Vista SP1 RC was scheduled to be made available to testers on December 1. Microsoft failed to confirm this until now. But at the same time, for the next week, the Vista SP1 RC testing program is planned for release to the general public. Just a little something before Christmas.
News source: Softpedia