The refresh has only been made available to a core group of 15,000 testers and will not be made available for download.
A core group of 15,000
people testing Windows Vista Service Pack 1 have received the latest
pre-release build of SP1, known as Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh.
This group of beta testers
includes corporate customers, consumer enthusiasts, software and
hardware vendors, and others, Microsoft said in a statement released
The "Refresh" code is also
not available for public download, and will not be made available to
MSDN and TechNet subscribers or to the broader public.
While Microsoft is still on
track to release Vista SP1 to manufacturing this quarter, it noted that
"the final release date is based on quality, so we will continue to
track customer and partner feedback from the beta program before
setting a final date."
The Refresh comes just over a month
after Microsoft made the Release Candidate for Windows Vista Service
Pack 1 available to the core 15,000 testers, as well as to all MSDN and
TechNet subscribers and the broader public.
"We feel very good about
the fact that our current set of testers is a good distribution of
different kinds of users and partners. But given the amazing variety of
usage by a diverse group of people, hardware and software, we really
wanted to go broader to make sure that people have a chance to test it
out and give our other partners the chance to test their software and
hardware on there if they haven't already done that," David Zipkin,
senior product manager for Windows client, told eWEEK at that time.
The feedback Microsoft
receives from testers on this release candidate will determine the
future testing direction, Zipkin said.
The availability of the Release Candidate for Vista SP1 was welcomed by IT administrators, many of whom have already rolled it out or are planning to do so in the near future.
has already downloaded the release candidate for SP1 and is running it
on test machines to make sure that its internal applications are able
to run, and to see if the service pack resolved some of the issues it
identified, Gary Wilhelm, the hospital's business and financial systems
manager, told eWeek recently.
have also loaded the service pack on a few laptops to test our Aventail
VPN, Citrix and single sign-on solution. Rather than apply the
individual hot fixes Microsoft released, we made a decision to wait for
SP1," Wilhelm said.
Housing Services, which provides housing programs to colleges,
universities and post-secondary learning institutions in 27 cities
throughout the United States, has not only deployed the Vista SP1
release candidate in its test lab, but also on its production IT
machines to see how it behaves in the company's environment.
CHShas about 78 machines currently running
Vista, and is keen to roll out the
service pack, which it sees as critical as it incorporates a lot of
stability and performance improvements, better battery life and
sleep/hibernate stability improvements. Overall network performance
improvements are also crucial, Sumeeth Evans, director of information
CHS, told eWEEK recently.
is a perception in the industry that Microsoft products are not usable
until the first or second service pack is released," Evans said. "But
this time around, the company delivered regular updates before the
service pack release cycle to fix and update the bugs and features in
Vistaand Office 2007. It also appears that, in terms of our testing so far, that these service packs are of very good quality."