Microsoft Preps Vista SP2 Beta For Testers

Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Windows Product Management, made this announcement in a Friday post to the Windows Vista team blog, and said testers will be able to start kicking tires on the Vista SP2 beta next Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Microsoft has developed Vista SP2 Beta using a "single serviceability model," which means it'll apply to both Vista clients and Windows Server 2008 servers, according to Nash. "This should also minimize deployment and testing complexity for our customers," he wrote.

The Vista SP2 Beta also includes fixes that Microsoft has previously released to address the reliability, performance, and compatibility issues that dogged Vista prior to the release of SP1, and Microsoft has taken care in Vista SP2 Beta to avoid changes that could break applications.

"We expect Windows Vista SP2 will retain compatibility with applications that run on Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP1 and are written using public APIs," Nash wrote.

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Acknowledging that many Vista users will wonder if it's prudent to wait for Vista SP2, Nash said Microsoft "will recommend SP2 when it ships," but until that time, will continue to advocate SP1.

Vista SP2 Beta also includes Windows Search 4.0, which speeds indexing and query response times; the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack, which includes the technology's most recent specification; and Windows Connect Now, which makes it easier to set up Wi-Fi connections.