Vista SP1 expected hit Windows Update tomorrow

Microsoft officially released the first service pack for Windows Vista to manufacturing last month, but aside from a handful of privileged users—former beta testers, MSDN/TechNet Plus subscribers, and volume licensing customers—the pack remains unavailable to most. However, ComputerWorld says all signs point to the public release being scheduled for tomorrow.

Microsoft ended up postponing the public launch because of problems with some device drivers that failed to properly reinstall after the upgrade. The company cited "mid-March" as its release time frame, and since tomorrow is this month's "patch Tuesday" (the second Tuesday of the month, during which Microsoft traditionally rolls out security patches) ComputerWorld says many are banking on SP1's release. Adding weight to that prediction, Amazon currently pins a March 18 release date on its retail-boxed copies of Windows Vista with SP1 pre-installed.

If all goes as predicted, users will be able to grab the service pack from Windows Update on Tuesday. However, those expecting it to show up through Vista's Automatic Updates system will be disappointed. ComputerWorld says Microsoft doesn't plan to push out SP1 through Automatic Updates until some time in April. Not all users will be eligible, either: those with device drivers known to cause problems won't be offered the update at all.

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