Microsoft already gearing up for Vista service pack

As Microsoft prepares to release its Vista operating system to consumers, the company is already accepting feedback for the OS's first service pack.

On the verge of the release of Windows Vista, Microsoft is already accepting orders for features to go in the OS's first service pack.

Microsoft is taking feedback from testers who are part of its Technology Adoption Program (TAP), which lets certain partners evaluate prerelease software, a Microsoft spokesman in London said on Wednesday. Service packs typically consist of a mix of bug fixes and new features.

Microsoft is set to release Vista for consumers next Tuesday, although it has been available to volume-license customers since Nov. 30.

The company doesn't mention future update plans for Vista on its service pack road map. The spokesman said a release date for the first service pack was not yet available.

The company, however, will continue to push out "critical" fixes for Vista through Windows Update, Microsoft's automated patch rollout system, the spokesman said

With Windows XP, Microsoft released the first service pack in September 2002, 11 months after the initial release of the OS. XP's second service pack -- which added a host of security features to combat increased hacking -- was released in August 2004.

Microsoft is planning a third service pack for XP in the first half of 2008.

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