In late October, Microsoft announced the beta of the second service pack for Windows Vista and Server 2008. This beta was limited in audience, and today Microsoft has fixed that: it opened up the beta for MSDN and TechNet subscribers, and coming Thursday, it will be opened to the general public. The releases will be distributed via TechNet.
Vista’s and Server 2008’s second service pack will be similar to the first in that it doesn’t contain any major new features. It will include all previous updates (as usual), while also containing support for new hardware, as well as support for new standards and technologies. It also delivers improvements made based on data collected through Microsoft’s voluntary Customer Experience Improvement Program. A short summary of the more important changes:
- Windows Vista SP2 adds Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches.
- Windows Vista SP2 contains the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology.
- Ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista.
- Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration.
- Windows Vista SP2 enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones.
The new service pack is planned to go gold somewhere next year, at least before Windows 7. It comes in a single package that works on both Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.