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Microsoft Already Testing Windows Vista SP1

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God, Microsoft is changing! Windows Vista is coming out soon, and they’re already looking for beta testers for Service Pack 1, which they plan to release in the second half of this year.

You won’t be able to get in (trust me, I already emailed them, and they wanted my company’s Enterprise contact info) just yet, but I love the idea that Vista SP1 is going to get the same intensive, long-term beta testing Vista itself benefited from.

The Technology Adoption Program (TAP) is looking for customers and partners actively test and provide feedback on Windows Vista SP1 to help us prepare for its release in the second half of CY07. Customers must be willing to provide feedback and deploy pre-release builds into production environments.

According to Robert McLaws, the reason we’ll see it in this timeframe is because it’ll test in tandem with Windows Server 2007, and as a result, Windows Vista SP1 will be as reliable and secure as Server 2007.

This is significant, because Microsoft’s Server operating systems are very secure, and making Vista as secure as a server is a huge benefit for everyone who owns Vista.

Microsoft is doing some great things with Windows development, making decisions that are improving the Windows platform with every step.

So why will they have SP1 ready this year? Because Windows Vista and Windows Server 2007 share the same codebase, which means both operating systems use many of the same binaries. While Windows Vista has gone through more reliability testing than any previous consumer OS, Windows Server 2007 will have an extra 6-10 months of testing. So Microsoft gets a two-fold benefit for the extra WS2007 testing this year.

The end result is that Windows Vista SP1 will have the same stability, security, and reliability as a server OS. This cannot be understated: Microsoft has never had server reliability on the desktop before. Windows Server 2003 has been a rock-solid OS from day one, and the number of vulnerabilities have been far fewer than previous releases. Since Windows Vista started from that codebase, you already have a really stable OS. But to have the same bits running on both desktops and servers can only mean good things for consumers moving forward.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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Microsoft Already Testing Windows Vista SP1
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