Redmond (WA) – Microsoft beta testers and volume licensing customers are getting early access the Vista SP1: The service pack is now available via the manufacturer’s Volume License Services (MLVS), according to several reports published today.
Kurt Shintaku was first to report the availability of Windows Vista SP1 RTM to volume customers via download from Microsoft. According to the website, x86 and x64 versions have become available today. A post in Neowin.net’s forums indicates that beta testers may have had even earlier access with the SP1 RTM release carrying a February 6 release date.
The official release comes somewhat as a surprise, as Microsoft previously indicated that it will delay the rollout a few weeks, apparently to give hardware vendors time to adjust their products to the new software and, if necessary, to provide new drivers.
“The key learning over the last year is that when we change the operating system, it takes time to let the ecosystem make sure that the hardware and software that they build works well with Windows Vista,” wrote product manager Mike Nash on the Vista team blog.
Microsoft said it will not be offering the online update to end-users until Vista SP1 PCs are shipping in mid-March.