The Windows Vista launch date is about a week away and there is already talk about the first Service Pack (SP1) being made available as soon as this year. According to an email that received this is what the first Service Pack should include:

Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) will be a standard service pack that will include security updates, hotfixes, as well as limited other changes focused on improving quality.

The Technology Adoption Program (TAP) is looking for customers and partners actively test and provide feedback on Windows Vista SP1 to help us prepare for its release in the second half of CY07.  Customers must be willing to provide feedback and deploy pre-release builds into production environments.

It doesn’t sound like they have plans for releasing anything new in SP1, and instead the first Service Pack will cover security patches. In case you were wondering this was Windows XP’s release schedule:

  • Initial release of Windows XP was on October 25, 2001
  • Service Pack 1 (SP1) released on September 9, 2002 which is 319 days after the initial release.
  • Service Pack 2 (SP2) released on August 6, 2004 which is 1016 days after the initial release.
  • [future] Service Pack 3 (SP3) to be released the first half of 2008

If Microsoft keeps on a similar schedule the release date of Vista SP1 would be December 15, 2007 and Vista SP2 would be November 11, 2009. As you can see a release date of 2007 for Vista SP1 does not seem too unreasonable, so if you’re one of the many holding off until Vista hits that milestone you might be able to get it in time for the holidays…maybe Santa will bring it for you. ;)

There has also been some other interesting Vista news around the Web. The Boston Globe is saying that businesses will spend (on average) $9.33 on hardware, $5.35 on software, and $3.93 on service providers for every $1.00 they spend on Vista itself. That number seemed quite large, but after thinking about the need to update software and hardware it sounded about right. After all, a lot of the small businesses (or at least the ones I’ve worked with) haven’t upgraded PC’s and hardware since Windows XP was released…so they are due for an upgrade.

The one other thing that I saw today came from BusinessWire [via CrunchGear]. It looks as though CompUSA is going to offer a money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with Vista or Office 2007. To take advantage of this offer you will have to fork out $50 for their technicians to install the software on your PC at the CompUSA store, or $150 to have a technician come to your house to perform the installation:

Customers who bring their computer to a CompUSA store before 3:00 p.m. on January 29 will receive a free Windows Vista evaluation of their computer. Customers who receive the evaluation will be able to purchase the software installation for only $19.99 and pick up their computer as early as 12:01 a.m. on January 30. Beginning January 30, software installations will be available for $49.99 for in-store and $149.99 for in-home installations.

Should you decide that you’re not satisfied with Vista they will refund your money (well, probably not the $50 installation fee) and they’ll reinstall your previous operating system. They are really smart for offering this guarantee because Vista is the easiest operating system that I have ever installed. Almost anyone can understand how to go through the upgrade process, but knowing that you can get your money back if your not satisfied will probably appeal to a lot of people.