Microsoft: Still No Vista SP1 Auto Update

Users can manually install Windows Vista SP1 through Windows Update or download the standalone installer from the Microsoft Download Center, but there's still no word on when Vista SP1 will be made available to users who've configured Windows Update and Microsoft Update to download updates automatically.

Microsoft, which has imposed a cone of silence around nearly every aspect of Vista SP1, isn't saying much about when Vista users might expect to avail themselves of the SP1 automatic update option.

"Until SP1 is automatically distributed via Windows Update, consumers are able to download SP1 manually using Windows Update," a Microsoft spokesperson said in an email to ChannelWeb.

Susan Bradley, a Microsoft Small Business Specialist partner in Fresno, Calif., says that service pack installations shouldn't be done through automatic update.

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"I'm glad they've delayed it. If you need it, you can manually update the system. If a VAR needs it, they can get it or build a new system with it. But it's a several part service pack that shouldn't be rushed," Bradley said.

Brian Williams, president of Advantech NW, a Gresham, Ore.-based solution provider, says installing Vista SP1 can take up to an hour and involves multiple reboots, and that could cause issues for consumers who aren't accustomed to the travails of updating their PCs.

"It has been a long time since users have had to install a Microsoft service pack, and I imagine that this might raise some call volume," Williams said.

Microsoft has in the past been accused of pushing its anti-piracy software through the automatic update mechanism. Last October, some users said their PCs had downloaded and installed updates from Windows Update and automatically rebooted their machines, even after they'd disabled the automatic updates option.

In other Vista news, Microsoft, which rolled out the English, French, Spanish, German, and Japanese versions of SP1 last month, is now offering Vista SP1 in the remaining 31 languages.