I continue to monitor the status of the SP1 release and the more I hear, the more I don’t understand what MS is thinking. They have said they want to maintain a high quality customer experience and that waiting for a general release of the SP until late March helps them accomplish that. I fail to see how.
Surely, if there are a large number of drivers that would be compromised by the SP then I can understand why they would be reluctant to put the release in Windows Update until the OEM’s have a chance to change the drivers. But it makes no sense to me why anyone who wants the bits shouldn’t have them now, given they are actually the final bits and will not change.
One poster on the Vista Team Blog who identifies himself as an ex Softie, notes it may take 3,4,5 weeks just to put up a download page because of the internal testing and development MS goes through. While I surely believe MS to be a bloated bureaucracy, the level of institutional pathology implied by an inability to put up an ftp download site quickly boggles the mind. No wonder Vista missed every release target and still had problems. There are distinct process problems at MS.
So what is it MS? Is the SP really final? If so, why can’t we have it officially if we are willing to take some risks?
NOTE: I use Vista as my primary day to day operating system and I switched to it from Linux. I am currently running what I believe to be SP1 RTM. I got a file named Windows6.0-KB936330-X86.exe from Windows Vista Forums (its no longer there, don’t bother). The file is 455,562,200 bytes on my disk and the MD5 hash is D597866E93BC8F80ECCA234C4E9CE5A2 (this is for the 32 bit version). The MD5 hash matched the hash given on the forum and also matches the hash for the 32 bit version given in a post on ZD-Net by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes. It works fine, in fact great, but absent an official download source how can I really be sure.