Vista Service Pack 2 On The Way

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft testers will get their hands on the second major update to Vista next week. It's expected to get a public release in the first half of 2009, with the firm apparently anxious to have it out before Windows 7 hits stores.

The update will be in the form of Vista Service Pack 2. A service pack is a collection of updates issued at one time to make the updating process simpler. It's not connected with the Windows Update system which concentrates purely on security issues.

Microsoft had previously been keeping quiet about Service Pack 2's release schedule, but a posting on its blog for technicians confirms "we anticipate broad availability for Windows Vista SP2 in the first half of 2009."

The most notable new features in Service Pack 2 will be support for recording to Blu-ray discs, Windows Search 4.0 (previously a separate download) which aims to make it easier to find information both on your computer and online, and a simpler system for finding and setting-up wireless Internet connections. (Source:

Though Vista Service Pack 1 came out in February, barely a year after Vista's release, it's still unexpected that Service Pack 2 should come around so quickly. Microsoft insiders say the firm wants to have it ready before the release of Windows 7. That's likely to show that it will continue to support and improve Vista and to try to stop XP users thinking it's best to simply skip Vista and wait for Windows 7.

However, Microsoft is also making clear there should be no compatibility problems between the two Vista Service Packs, so there's no point putting off an upgrade until Service Pack 2.

Microsoft has also revealed that the Service Pack 2 for the Office 2007 package will be out somewhere between February and April next year. The most significant new features are support for both the PDF file format and the Open Document Format used in OpenOffice, a leading open source rival to Microsoft Office. (Source:

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