Vista Service Pack 2 imminent

Microsoft has announced that Vista Service Pack 2 has been released to manufacturing ahead of a forthcoming release.

Vista SP2 is a relatively minor upgrade to the operating system - certainly not in the same league as the major overhaul that was XP SP2.

It brings native support for Blu-ray burning and Bluetooth 2.1, improved Windows Search, and easier Wi-Fi configuration, according to Microsoft. It also wraps up all the patches that have been released since Vista SP1.

Microsoft says the second service pack will start arriving via Automatic Update before the end of the quarter. The company's also disabling the Vista SP1 blocker tool, which means those who haven't already upgraded to SP1 will see it starting to appear in Windows Update too.

Microsoft is bundling Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 into the same installer, which it claims will make it easier for businesses to deploy company-wide.

However, the company advises businesses that are midway through Vista deployments to stick with SP1 for the time being. "If your Windows Vista SP1 deployment is already underway we recommend you continue with SP1 as planned," the company writes on the Official Windows Blog. "Then you can deploy SP2 using your systems management infrastructure. If you are in the early stages of deployment or still planning Windows Vista deployment our best advice is that you plan on testing and deploying Windows Vista SP2."

Microsoft is on the verge of releasing the Release Candidate of Windows 7 to the millions of beta testers who have been trialling the next-gen OS, with a full launch expected later this summer.

The software giant also released Office 2007 Service Pack 2 yesterday.

Barry Collins

Barry Collins is an experienced IT journalist who specialises in Windows, Mac, broadband and more. He's a former editor of PC Pro magazine, and has contributed to many national newspapers, magazines and websites in a career that has spanned over 20 years. You may have seen Barry as a tech pundit on television and radio, including BBC Newsnight, the Chris Evans Show and ITN News at Ten.