Microsoft finally released the first service pack for Windows Vista to manufacturing last week, but the company unexpectedly chose to delay its official release until March. We later heard that the delay was introduced to give hardware makers time to update their drivers, since SP1 is said to introduce problems with some drivers that didn't comply with driver installation guidelines. Nonetheless, Microsoft customers weren't too happy with the company's decision. As PC World reports, they've successfully lobbied the software giant to make the service pack available early to some users.
Under the updated release schedule, volume-licensing customers will be able to get their hands on the English-language version of SP1 later this week. MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers will also get early dibs on the service pack, although they'll have to wait until later this month. However, SP1 is still not scheduled to become available to the general public until the middle of March. PC World quotes Microsoft as saying that the delay is "caused by issues with some device drivers that lose features when the service pack is installed," confirming earlier reports.
Of course, not all members of the public have opted to wait until March. Shortly after hitting RTM status, the service pack hit BitTorrent websites, and it remains available on pirate networks today.