The latest build of Windows Vista SP1 was distributed to its beta testers last week. Naturally it was also distributed to the likes of BitTorrent and other P2P file-sharing networks, though of course without Microsoft's permission. Unlike the first build that was released, this was a .EXE file, not an ISO image. Build 6.0.6001.16633 (longhorn.070803-1655) weighs in at 684MB.
However, Vista updates -- such as security patches and other hot fixes -- are normally packaged as .msu files, so the fact that the latest release is in .exe format may indicate that 6.0.6001.16633 is not a direct step toward a public release of SP1.
"Surprisingly, the update file is in the .exe format," a user identified as Arneh wrote on the WinBeta site last Thursday. "Many (including myself) were expecting Microsoft to deliver the update for Vista SP1 in the new Vista/Server 2008-only .msu format used for current Hotfixes."
As with Windows XP, many analysts continue to recommend companies wait until SP1 before upgrading to Windows Vista. Given that, it's in Microsoft's best interest to get SP1 out ASAP. Still they are very close-mouthed about possible release dates, or even possible beta dates.