Windows Vista Service Pack 2 is currently in beta and due for release Q1 2009.
To try out the beta I formatted my laptop and started fresh, so this post is based on a clean install of Vista SP2. As normal of the service packs of today, the major benefit is really a collation of patches and updates since the last release.
This means when your installing Vista on a new system, you can avoid the numerous updates since Vista was released to the public on January 30, 2007 or Vista with SP1 on March 18 2008. In fact after installing Vista SP2 beta on this laptop (a Dell Inspiron 6400) I had 3 optional updates 2 drives and Silverlight and that’s it!
The listed updates included are as follows:
– Windows Search 4.0 (this is already available as an optional update through Windows Update)
– Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack
– Blu-ray burning natively supported by the OS
– Simplified Wi-Fi configuration
My experience with setting up Wi-Fi in Vista SP2 was as follows.
1. Rollover Wi-Fi icon in system tray.
2. Click on Wi-Fi networks are available
3. Click on the name of my network and click OK
4. Insert password, click OK, and I was online.
This Wi-fi configuration really was a much simpler process than before. I was already running Search 4.0, and don’t have bluetooth or a blu-ray burner so these weren’t applicable in my scenario.
The bottom line is you don’t need to rush out and get Vista SP2 beta, just make sure your installing Windows Updates and you’ll essentially have most of the service pack already. Average consumers should simply wait till SP2 ships early next year.