Microsoft shipping SP2 RC2 for Vista and Windows Server

Microsoft has announced details of the new release candidate (RC) of service pack (SP) 2 for its Windows Vista operating system and Windows Server 2008.

The RC will be made available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers for early testing, before being made available for anyone else to download, according to a blog post from Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft's windows communications manager. He promised to notify the blogosphere when the latter stage had begun.

The changes are detailed in full the blog but LeBlanc said that most enhancements were based on user feedback.

"We've taken your feedback into account when developing SP2. Specifically, we expect SP2 to continue the security benefits of both products and simplify deployment for our customers," he explained.

In another post LeBlanc added: "By providing these fixes integrated into a single service pack, which will be thoroughly tested by Microsoft and by industry partners and customers during the RC cycle, Microsoft provides a single high-quality update that minimises deployment and testing complexity for customers."

Support for new hardware and emerging standards, in addition to tools for administrators looking to deploy the operating system update across a wide enterprise network, are both included in the service pack.

LeBlanc said Microsoft plans to release SP2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 in the second quarter of 2009.