Windows XP Service Pack 3 Not Coming
Microsoft Threatens Poster of Vista SP1 Info
This is a weird one: Last week, a blogger named Ethan Allen posted a list of the 100-plus hot-fixes and patches that Microsoft plans to ship as part of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1), due later this year. He claimed that the list was mostly derived from Microsoft's publicly available knowledge base (KB) articles, though it has never been assembled in a single place as he did on his site. He also supplied a download of the fixes, which he called the Vista SP1 Preview. Microsoft was not amused. The company sent Allen a cease and desist order, for some reason, and demanded that the blogger remove his "unauthorized redistribution of [Microsoft's] hot fixes." More problematically, from my perspective, is that Microsoft program manager Nick White was harshly critical of Allen's list in the Windows Vista blog on the Microsoft Web site. I find that offensive: Allen is an enthusiast trying to help people, and the way he's rewarded is with a legal threat and a dismissive mention in a Microsoft-run Web site. Bravo, Microsoft. What's next? Do you think you could just tar and feather the guy while you're at it?
The Truth About Vista SP1
I'm tired of Microsoft's insane posturing about Windows Vista SP1. I've written about this before, but it bears repeating. Every single time Vista SP1 comes up, some representative from Microsoft–all the way up to CEO Steve Ballmer, by the way, who has done this twice in public–acts as if the company has no idea when it will ship SP1 or what features it will include. That is not true. Microsoft will ship Windows Vista SP1 concurrently with Longhorn Server in Q3 2007 and SP1 will include a major kernel update for Vista that will bring the client OS up to speed with the version of the Windows kernel in Longhorn Server. That has been the plan for quite a while, and they all know it. Why the company can't just say, "We'd rather not discuss SP1 at this time" is beyond me. Instead, they're simply lying, and for no good reason. And that's not right, especially when there are millions of customers waiting on this release to upgrade. You'd think a company that supposedly cares about transparency as much as Microsoft would realize when they're being so, well, transparent.
And What About Windows XP Service Pack 3?
And while I'm ranting a bit, let's dredge up Windows XP Service Pack 3, which was delayed from 2005 to 2006 to 2007 and now to 2008. If you were looking for any glimpse into the mind of Microsoft, this is it: The company has completely abandoned Windows XP, and it has absolutely no plans to ever ship an XP SP3. My guess is that Microsoft will do what it did with the final Windows 2000 Service Pack: Claim years later that it's no longer needed and just ship a final security patch roll-up. This is the worst kiss-off to any Microsoft product I've ever seen, and you'd think the company would show a little more respect to its best-selling OS of all time. But the reality is, Microsoft is looking ahead to new revenue and not behind to money that's already in the bank. And though hundreds of millions of people will be running XP for years to come, despite Microsoft's best efforts at selling them a later Windows version, the company has absolutely no plans to actually support those customers. This flies in the face of its publicly-stated life cycle support plans. And it really freaks me out. It should freak you out as well