Microsoft released Windows Vista to disappointing fanfare, with much of the hoopla coming from MS's own camp. Many users just didn't find a ton of appeal with the chopped feature-set, and the ace-in-the-hole known as DirectX 10 gaming remains a card still waiting to be played. So instead of making a mad dash to the local Best Buy or online e-tailer, gobs of XP owners vowed to cling onto their existing OS until the first Service Pack rolls out, a sign that most generally consider to signify a new OS's emergence into maturity.
Whether you qualify as one of the holdouts or early adopters, this week could mark an opportunity to take the first Service Pack out for a spin. Sort of. The final release isn't slated to ship until later this year, but eager beavers should be able to get their hands on the BETA version, possibly as early as today. According to the downloadable Reference Guide dated February 2007, SP1 brings the following fixes:
Corrupt Windows image fixes
Better language support
Setup and login fixes
Help topic updates
Also look for better overall performance (file copies, shutdown times), a better Desktop Search, and ReadyBoost enhancements. As with any BETA product, proceed cautiously, and it wouldn't be a bad idea to test it out on a Virtual Machine before pairing with your main machine.