I’ve seen a bunch of news on this today (Tuesday 18-Mar-08) that Vista SP1 is going to hit Microsoft Update as early as today. Retail copies of the software will be available via B&M and online stores as early as tomorrow, and will sport new, lower prices.
Vista SP1 shipped to duplication and resellers on 04-Feb-08. Before that, It was only been available to beta testers, volume-licensing customers and subscribers to subscription services like MSDN and TechNet, but only after they caused a big stink, threatening to cancel their subscriptions. It seems that David does that some power over this software Goliath.
Many users haven’t been able to get their hands on the code, however. Microsoft delayed its release due to driver compatibility issues. As many users have read recently, some drivers won’t properly reinstall during the SP1 upgrade. While Microsoft has worked through most of these issues with most of the vendors, they needed to set up blocking mechanisms to prevent PC’s with errant drivers from receiving and installing the service pack.
If you’re in the market for a new PC, you’ll likely get SP1 with your new machine. Fortunately, those folks shouldn’t have to worry about any driver compatibility issues. Microsoft has stated that OEM and retail copies should be good to go, beginning tomorrow, 19-Mar-08.