Windows users will get another opportunity to jump aboard the Microsoft upgrade merry-go-round next year, when it plans to introduce a new service pack for Windows Vista.
In an official product blog last week, Microsoft Windows team member Nick White announced that the beta test version of the Vista Service Pack 1 will be ready in a few weeks.
After an extensive test period, the new edition is due for release early in 2008, according to an official Q&A with Jon DeVaan, senior vice president of Microsoft's Windows core operating system division.
In his blog, Knight writes that service packs are part of Microsoft's traditional software lifecycle and a symbol of its commitment to "continuous improvement." Since Vista was introduced at the beginning of the year, the company has also introduced an online Windows Update service to deliver operating service improvements.
From analysts' comments and user feedback on blogs and software forums, Vista has not broken many records for the speed of adoption. Yet it seems like the paint had barely dried before the new service pack was announced, and it's being greeted with the usual litany of hostile reactions from administrators who are going to have to update their Windows networks.
The cost and inconvenience of the treadmill of Microsoft upgrades may well be one reason why more organizations are considering alternative operating systems such as Linux. That said, updates also occur with open source software, which may not be as methodically administered, unless you pay for direct support from the software distributor.
Microsoft, meanwhile, said it wanted to communicate its update strategy clearly and maintained that the service pack release will be later than on previous versions.
Explaining the company's stance, DeVaan said, "Based on what customers and partners have told us, we know that providing timely guidance on release plans is important, but that it's equally important for us to provide more accurate guidance that they can be confident in as they build their own plans.
"For Windows Vista SP1, that's meant waiting until we had a higher-level of certainty in our plan, including what was going into it and when we could reasonably expect to meet the quality bar, to share information broadly. Finding the right balance between communicating earlier and more often versus later and more precisely is something we'll continue to refine by listening to our customers."
Reprinted from our sister site, AccountingWEB.co.uk