Vista SP1 Takes Next Step With First Release Candidate

release candidate

Security, performance, and reliability all receive a boost in the Vista SP1 release candidate, which follows the SP1 beta that Microsoft in September offered to a select group of testers.

In the release candidate, Microsoft has made numerous beneficial tweaks to Vista's file copying, network browsing, and returning from sleep functions, which have been dogging customers and partners since the OS was released to businesses last November.

In a Wednesday post to the Windows Vista team blog, Nick White, a product manager with the Vista team, said Microsoft has cut the size of the standalone Vista SP1 installers by up to 50 percent, and that the amount of disk space SP1 requires "has also decreased significantly".

The Vista SP1 release candidate automatically cleans up about 1 gigabyte of files that were left behind in previous versions, and adds to the capabilities of its hard drive encryption tool BitLocker with support for encrypting multiple volumes, according to White.

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Microsoft remains on track to release Vista SP1 to manufacturing in the first quarter of 2008, and the vendor plans to gather additional customer and partner feedback before deciding on an actual release date, White wrote.