Look what's coming. Windows Vista SP1 RC1 (don't you just love all those 3 letter acronyms) will be available next week via the Download Center, and to MSDN and Technet subscribers tomorrow.
"We feel really good and we look forward to receiving feedback from our larger set of testers," said David Zipkin, a senior product manager on the Windows Client team.
Microsoft also said on its Vista blog on Wednesday that it will make available a "blocker" that will allow customers who have Vista and use Windows Update to block SP1 upon its final release to allow for further testing. Microsoft offered a similar option with Windows XP Service Pack 2.
Service Pack 1 is mainly designed as a collection of bug fixes and performance improvements rather than an attempt to add new features. Among the changes that are more feature-related is the ability to use BitLocker encryption on multiple hard drive volumes as well as changes to the desktop search feature, which were made to satisfy antitrust concerns from Google.
The blocker app is interesting. If you recall when XP SP1 came out, IT admins wanted a tool to block it. This time Microsoft is being proactive.