You might have heard about the upcoming beta release of Windows Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2), and we wanted to take a few minutes to describe what’s in it and how it can help you align your plans around Windows Vista adoption. The Windows Vista SP2 beta will be available to a small group of Technology Adoption Program customers on Wednesday, October 29, and we anticipate broad availability for Windows Vista SP2 in the first half of 2009.
It’s important to note that this release will embody a single service pack covering both client (Windows Vista) and server (Windows Server 2008), continuing the single serviceability model established with the Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RTM release. This approach helps reduce the testing and deployment complexity for our customers.
In addition to all previously released updates since the launch of Windows Vista SP1, Windows Vista SP2 adds a few new capabilities:
- Support for new types of Hardware and emerging standards, including Bluetooth 2.1, the ability to natively record data on Blu-Ray media, support for ICCD/CCID smart cards, and support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU
- Wi-Fi setup and maintenance is simplified with the addition of Windows Connect Now (WCN)
- The ex-FAT file system is enabled, supporting UTC timestamps to ensure correct file synchronization across time zones
- Windows Search 4.0 is included, which provides users faster and more relevant results. Windows Search 4.0 also allows Group Policy integration, which provides administrative control over search parameters
- End users should also experience improvements in resume performance when a Wi-Fi connection is no longer available
We expect that Windows Vista SP2 will retain compatibility with applications that run on Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP1 and are written using public APIs. Consequently, you can (and should) continue your plans for adopting Windows Vista SP1, and roll SP2 into your deployment image when it becomes available.
One final, but very important note—Windows Vista SP1 is a prerequisite for installing SP2, so you will need to start with a Windows Vista SP1 image before upgrading to SP2.
For more information on Windows Vista for IT professionals, please visit the Springboard Series on the Windows Client TechCenter at www.microsoft.com/springboard.