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Release of Vista service pack

5 February, 2008

The first Windows Vista service pack has been released. Is it time to buy Vista equipped computers?

We've been advising readers to hold off buying Microsoft Vista until the first Service Pack is released. Today it has been released for manufacture, or RTM as Microsoft like to put it.

RTM means it's been sent to system builders like Dell and Hewlett Packard so they can start incorporating the update into their new systems. We can expect to see these new boxes appearing over the next few weeks.

If you currently have Windows Vista, then you'll have to wait until Microsoft release the service pack through the Windows Update service. This is expected to be done in mid March.

At present, we stick with our recommendation to avoid Vista where possible. Any current system will be supplied without the service pack.

We'd also suggest waiting a few weeks after the service pack has been released to allow the industry time to understand the changes. It is possible some of the improvements will break things. The Microsoft blog itself warns that some hardware drivers don't play nicely with it.

The next three months will be the crunch time for Windows Vista. If Vista is to overcome the slur of being the "new Windows ME" then the service pack will need to resolve a number of performance and compatibility issues.

In our view home and business users should continue to stick with Windows XP until we've fully tested the Vista service pack around the start of April.



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