Mike Nash announced that Vista SP1 was released to manufacturing today. It is quite disappointing that SP1 will be available for download only in mid-March. I find this a bit strange, to say the least of it. Sometimes it seems to me that Microsoft still lives in a time before the Internet.
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The term "RTM" makes this more than clear. The software is ready, so the manufacturing, that is the production of the real thing, the DVDs, can start now. But who really cares about the DVDs nowadays? In my view, "release to manufacturing" of software is done by compiling the final version. Then you copy it to your download servers, and that's it. So why do we have to wait for another 6 weeks?
Mike Nash tries to give the reason. Some hardware vendors released drivers which do not follow the guidelines for driver installation. These drivers have to be reinstalled after Vista has been updated to SP1. Microsoft needs some more time to convince those hardware vendors to do their homework.
It seems like there is only a small set of drivers affected. So the rest of the world has to wait for another six weeks just because some hardware vendors did sloppy work? It is hard to believe. Wouldn't it make more sense to notify users before they try to install the service pack? Then, they can decide if they want to wait until new drivers are available or just reinstall them afterwards.
Anyway, in my opinion there still is no Vista SP1 RTM. "Manufacturing" nowadays is done by a single click. Just upload the exe to your Web servers and "manufacturing" is done. So, SP1 will be released to "manufacturing" only in mid-March.
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This is really disappointing because SP1 is far more important than Microsoft tries to make us believe for months. I am going to post something about this point these days. Ah yes, there is another reason why I am so grumpy. It seems the MS guys really forgot my birthday. 😉