Microsoft confirmed Tuesday that the Vista hot-fix packs that have leaked to the Web will be issued to all users.
"We plan to make these two updates broadly available via Windows Update in the near future," a company spokeswoman said in an e-mail.
The two updates, dubbed "Vista Performance and Reliability Pack" and "Vista Compatibility and Reliability Pack," were posted over the weekend to a third-party download site after being leaked from a group of Windows Server 2008 testers. The list of fixes -- which include performance improvements to Vista's sleep mode and speed increases in copying or moving large directories -- led some users Monday to speculate that the updates were the forerunner of Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), a major upgrade that many businesses want to see before they widely deploy the new operating system.
Although the spokeswoman was also asked to confirm that the hot-fix packs would serve as the core for SP1, she declined to comment directly. However, she did emphasize -- as Microsoft executives and other spokespeople have before her -- that a service pack is not the only way Microsoft intended to refresh Vista. "We also continue making regular improvements to Windows via Windows Update, which is an excellent channel for providing our customers with the most significant updates as they happen," she said.
Microsoft has, in fact, consistently downplayed the importance of SP1, even to the point of regularly squelching talk of it.
Although the spokeswoman would not pinpoint the release date of the two hot-fix packs, an assumption is building among bloggers and users that they will be included in the Aug. 14 monthly updates already on Microsoft's schedule.
In related news, the hot-fix packs have been yanked from the MediaFire Web site, where they were hosted as recently as Monday.