The retail version is not even out the door yet, but Microsoft already is starting to prepare the first major update for its new Vista operating system, according to a letter the company sent this week to business customers.
Windows Vista Service Pack 1 "will be a standard service pack that will include security updates, hotfixes, as well as limited other changes focused on improving quality," according to the letter, which Microsoft sent to customers enrolled in its Technology Adoption Program.
The letter said Microsoft wants feedback on Vista SP1 from program members "to help us prepare for its release in the second half of CY07."
To be eligible to participate, customers must be willing to deploy prerelease builds into production environments and report back on the results. "Issues will surface from the deployments as well as throughout the program as end users test its limits through their day to day activities," the letter stated.
The letter also indicates that Microsoft would like participants to make their operations available as case studies to the media and analysts for stories about the Vista update.
As Microsoft will ask them to drop Vista SP1 into production environments, participants may need to be stout-hearted -- or at least capable of holding their breath for an extended period. According to numerous reports at the time, the first service pack released for Windows XP, in 2002, caused a number of users' PCs to slow down or crash altogether.