Many corporations and government bodies tend to hold off purchasing a new Windows operating system until at least the first service pack (SP1) is out the door, and thus it comes as no surprise that Microsoft has been burning the midnight oil to get Vista SP1 ready to ship. To that end Microsoft has developed a new release candidate (RC) version of the Vista SP1. After all, the organizations waiting to buy are doing so on the theory that SP1 typically means 'stable enough' to keep their IT staff from jumping out of the windows, so a premature release of SP1 wouldn't go over well.
While the announcement of a new Vista SP1 RC was initially only good news for users participating in Microsoft's group of private third party testers, it seems that Microsoft is looking to gather more input:
“In the interest of gaining additional tester feedback, on Thursday, we made the Windows Vista SP1 RC Refresh available via Windows Update to interested beta testers on the public TechNet site. We are still on schedule to deliver SP1 RTM in Q1 CY08. The final release date is based on quality, so we will continue to track customer and partner feedback from the beta program before setting a final date.”
After numerous blogs and reviews of Vista suggested that that the long overdue OS was rushed to retail before it was entirely ready, it seems like Microsoft is focused on putting quality first.