Microsoft has until now been very tight-lipped about its release schedule for the first Windows Vista service pack, but the company has revealed a specific release time frame to CNet. The site quotes Microsoft as saying that Vista SP1 will become available some time in the first quarter of 2008. A "beta preview" version of the service pack is already in the hands of a small group of testers, and CNet says Microsoft plans to start a wider-scale beta program "in the next few weeks." Said wider-scale beta will involve 10,000 pre-selected testers.
Those hoping to see Vista SP1 introduce a plethora of new features may be disappointed, though. According to CNet, the upcoming service pack will largely be a collection of existing patches along with a handful of novelties, such as support for the exFAT file system and the Extensible Firmware Interface. The site also quotes Shanen Boettcher, the General Manager of Microsoft's Windows Unit, as saying that Vista SP1 "is not a delivery vehicle for lots of features."