I can't help it, but join this speculation game. Several sources have information about the release date of Windows Vista SP1. It seems as if Windows Vista SP1 will be available on February 15.
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Digitimes cites a DRAM vendor talking about the Feb. 15 as the launch date of Service Pack 1:
But the PC market will rebound in the second quarter, he said. The launch of an updated version of Microsoft Vista on February 15, if its prices do not go up too much compared to its previous version, may help boost DRAM sales, Pai added.
And InfoWorld mentions the same date. According to their source, software industry analysts also have heard of Feb. 15 as the target date for SP1.
As usual, Microsoft officials did not confirm anything. I've mentioned it before on this blog. I find Microsoft's information policy about release dates quite vexing. Release dates of such importance play a central role in the planning of any bigger IT department. I wonder how many organizations did not even start thinking about deploying Vista simply because the release date of Service Pack 1 is still unknown.
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In my opinion, the exact launch date of a Windows service pack should be publicly known at least three months in advance. I know that it is not easy to determine when exactly a software product is ready. However, I think that it is possible if you only add a generous time allowance to your schedule. If you are done earlier, you can just do some extra testing before releasing the product.