Windows Vista SP1 RTMs - But ...

Don't you hate those buts?  Besides the fact that it won't release to download or Windows Update for six weeks, that old bugaboo for Vista strikes again.  Yep, device drivers.

As we update our customers to SP1, we want everyone to have a great install experience.  We are going to stage our rollout of SP1 for current Windows Vista users to be approximately concurrent with the availability of Windows Vista SP1 on new PCs and in stores.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  Our beta testing identified an issue with a small set of device drivers.  These drivers do not follow our guidelines for driver installation and as a result, some beta participants who were using Windows Vista and updated to Service Pack 1 reported issues with these devices.  Because the issue was with the way the drivers were installed and not the drivers themselves, the solution was simply to reinstall the drivers.  While this worked fine for our more technical beta testers, we want to deliver a better experience for customers as we make the update broadly available.

While we know that most customers who update from Windows Vista to SP1 will NOT be affected, our approach is to improve the experience for all our customers.  To do this, we will begin making SP1 available through Windows Update in mid-March, giving us time to work with some of our hardware partners to make adjustments to the installation process for the affected drivers.  As SP1 gets delivered through Windows Update, we will only offer it to PCs that we detect don't have any of the affected device drivers installed.  We're taking the next month or so to continue our work of identifying as many of these devices as possible.

Ugh.  The way it's going to roll-out, with PCs unable to upgrade to SP1 until a device driver update is delivered to their PC - also via Windows Update - is going to be a) confusing, b) frustrating. Thanks for yet another super Windows Vista experience, Microsoft!