Microsoft is hard at work cooking a veritable feast of service packs for the first half of 2008. Windows Vista Service Pack 1, the Office 2007 System Service Pack 1 and Windows XP Service Pack 3 are all on the menu for the service pack fiesta announced in early 2008. And as far as Microsoft is concerned, all refreshes to its flagship products are orbiting Windows Server 2008, formerly codenamed Longhorn. In fact, the availability date of Windows Server 2008 is intimately connected with the release of the service packs for Vista and Office 2007, not so much for Windows XP.
The TechEd IT Forum 2007 in Barcelona, Spain was the stage where the Redmond company delivered an update on the availability date for Office 2007 SP1. "SP1 for the 2007 Microsoft Office system will be available in early 2008, featuring compatibility with Windows Server 2008 as well as improvements in stability, security and performance", Microsoft revealed. As is the case of Vista SP1, Office 2007 SP1 will also follow Windows Server 2008 to the market.
Microsoft joined Vista and Office 2007 at the hip, and launched its two main cash cows simultaneously in November 2006 to businesses and in January 2007 to the general consumers. Windows Server 2008 was initially planned to be released to manufacturing by the end of 2007. Although Microsoft gave repeated assurances supporting such a scenario, including via Chairman Bill Gates, the company changed its tune along the way and postponed RTM for early 2008. At the same time, the official launch of Windows Server 2008 remained unchanged and set for the end of February 2008.
Currently, Microsoft is offering a preview of the first Release Candidate of Vista SP1, for Office 2007 SP1 Beta and for XP SP3 Beta. While Vista SP1 and Office 2007 SP1 will drop in the first quarter of the next year, XP SP3 is planned for mid 2008. Microsoft also revealed that Vista SP1 and XP SP3 will be made available to MSDN subscribers .