Microsoft Vista's first major update will be downloadable at some point today, March 18th. Service Pack 1, a measuring stick that many IT professionals use to plan their rollouts, will be available through the Windows Update site to install directly or as a standalone package that can be deployed to many computers through internal processes like WSUS or Group Policy. The usual compatibility issues are shared with the latest service pack from Microsoft, so make sure your data has been thoroughly backed up before installing.
Vista Service Pack 1 almost here (Techspot)
You will also be able to order boxed copies of SP1 from Amazon starting today if you prefer to have a copy of the physical media, though it looks like it will be a while before you can order a computer with SP1 installed in the factory. OEMs are notoriously slow to put updated code into their manufacturing processes, so if you buy a new computer in the near future, one of the first actions you will take is installing SP1.
SP1 For Vista (Fox)
Vista SP1 availability remains a murky issue (News.com)
Service Pack 1 is an important release in my book, no matter the specific software it is intended to fix. I have never done a wide-scale deployment of any operating system or server application before the first service pack hits, and sometimes I wait for a second. Many people simply don't believe that Microsoft products are ready for prime time until they get service packed. Historically, I tend to agree, though Vista is probably the best pre-SP1 operating system release since Windows 2000. Will SP1's release (still pending as of the time of this writing) help you decide to embark on a wider deployment of Vista?
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