Vista First Aid KitThe Windows Connected Blog received an announcement today from Microsoft that they were told to share with everyone. It basically said that there will be no Vista SP1 Beta download available this week for the public, and that only a small set of testers will be receiving it. Here’s what the message said:


There will be a Windows Vista service pack and our current expectation is that a beta will be made available sometime this year. Service packs are part of the traditional software lifecycle — they’re something we do for all Microsoft products as part of our commitment to continuous improvement, and providing early test builds is a standard practice that helps us incorporate customer feedback and improve the overall quality of the product.

Service packs are just one example of the work we do to constantly improve the Windows experience. We also deliver improvements to Windows via Windows Update, which is an excellent channel for providing our customers with the most significant updates as they happen. And, since Windows Vista launched, we have continued working with partners to improve overall device coverage and application compatibility. There are now more than 2.1 million supported devices and more than 2,000 logoed applications for Windows Vista. We think customers will have a great experience using Windows Vista today.

In typical Microsoft fashion they refused to say when the public can expect to get their hands on the Beta, well, they did give a vague time frame of "this year". This is really disappointing because I know quite a few people who were looking forward to tinkering with the Beta, and I was definitely one of those people.

I think Microsoft is trying to be a lot more secretive because they see it working well for Apple. For example, Apple didn’t announce the iPhone until January 2007, and then released it about 7-months later. I’m sure that they were working on it for a long time prior to that, but they did a good job of keeping it secret. The reason why that is good is because they didn’t announce it until the development was nearly complete, and therefore they didn’t have to worry much about unexpected delays.

I don’t think it is a bad idea for Microsoft to go this route, but I always admired them for their openness. Sure they didn’t always hit their deadlines (yeah, Vista was delayed several years), but they kept us informed and they were able to listen to the feedback of the community.

What do you think? Is Microsoft better off keeping things to themselves or should they inform the community about what’s going on? I guess we can always count on things getting leaked though. :)

There Are 9 Comments

  1. I think not telling people about a new product is always a good idea, as it stops them expecting the wrong thing and puts less stress on development time. However once people have a product, they like to know what the next update will be about and when they will get it. So hiding details about upgrades in SP1 is a bad idea. If they have a brand new feature, go ahead and keep it underwraps.

  2. Yeah, I guess I see your point of view. After writing this it made me wonder if we were ever going to see the WinFS add-on the Microsoft said it would ship sometime after Vista was released. It was originally supposed to be included, but that didn’t happen.

  3. Microsoft is in no way obligated to tell the public when the next beta release will be made to a limited amount of testers. They should keep updates to products under wraps so they don’t make promises that they aren’t able to keep. It’s simply too early to predict when all the planned fixes will be complete. Putting a public deadline on it this early puts too much pressure to meet those deadlines and threatens the quality of the release.

    Keep in mind that the service pack will address many of the bugs that already have been patched.

  4. Ryan wrote:
    Yeah, I guess I see your point of view. After writing this it made me wonder if we were ever going to see the WinFS add-on the Microsoft said it would ship sometime after Vista was released. It was originally supposed to be included, but that didn’t happen.

    WinFS?

    Vapourware.

  5. Trust Microsoft not to deliver on their promises.

  6. Tinhed wrote:
    Trust Microsoft not to deliver on their promises.

    There are few example where Microsoft has made a promise (“we will do….”) to their customers and not followed through with it. They are usually very careful about the statements they make so they don’t have to back down from them.

    In fact, I can’t think of a single example where they have said one thing and then without due reason (oops we’re being sued) not followed through.

  7. The only thing I can think of where Microsoft said something was coming, and then didn’t deliver was the new file system, WinFS, in Vista. They said that it will be shipping as an add-on sometime after Vista made it out the door, but we haven’t heard anything about that.

  8. Ryan wrote:
    The only thing I can think of where Microsoft said something was coming, and then didn’t deliver was the new file system, WinFS, in Vista. They said that it will be shipping as an add-on sometime after Vista made it out the door, but we haven’t heard anything about that.

    That’s my point, they didn’t didn’t give a specific ship date. Only that it would ship after Vista.

    That have been working on something and it hasn’t been Vista Ultimate Extras. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it ship with Vista SP 1.

Leave Your Comment


Message is the only required field.
Emails are not published.