Starting in early August, beta versions of Windows Vista SP1 started to appear on BitTorrent sites such as Pirate Bay. Over the Aug. 24 weekend, a new beta has appeared on the BitTorrent sites.
The first beta SP1 appeared on hacker sites in early August as a 3.2 GB DVD ISO. This version could only be used to install a full version of Windows Vista. As such, it was not so much an SP as a testing platform for some proposed patches. The just-leaked version, however, expands from a compressed file of about 200 MB in size, depending on the system architecture, into an installation program that totals approximately 684 MB. With it, an adventuresome Vista user could use it to update his or hers Vista-powered system to a beta SP1.
This beta is labeled "Vista updates installer 32bit-Pre-sp1-Aug25th-2007." There is also a x64 version named "Vista 64bit (x64)Updates installer sp1 preview August 24th 2007." Both versions describe themselves as "The Vista Performance, Compatibility and Reliability Pack." Besides updates to Vista, the patch also includes recent versions of Adobe Flash Player and Sun Java.
A closer look reveals that, regardless of platform, the beta is named: "Build: 6.0.6001.16633 (longhorn.070803-1655)." When installed, at least one patched version of Vista Ultimate states that the system is running Vista Ultimate, Service Patch 1, v.165.
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At this point little is known about what improvements this beta SP brings to Vista. With user Vista complaints consisting of a laundry list of hardware, software and overall quality issues, theres much to be fixed. Presumably, SP1 will address these and other issues.
Businesses have been demanding at least a date for Vista SP1 since the introduction of Vista itself. Regardless of Vistas well-known problems, enterprises are reluctant to move to an operating system thats still at a ".0" release.
Microsoft has been very close-mouthed about SP1, despite questions from analysts, reporters and customers. Microsoft has seemed far more interested in talking about Vistas successor, Sevenin 2010, than in SP1.
With this leak of what appears to be an alpha or early beta of Vista SP1, however, perhaps Microsoft is finally getting ready to at least announce a release date for the long-awaited SP1. It also seems likely that Microsoft will be offering an "official" Vista SP1 beta before the production upgrade appears.
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