Microsoft (sort of) ships its first Windows Vista Feature Pack:

The Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless [is a] software update [that] includes the following components or features that improve wireless support in Windows Vista:

  • Bluetooth version 2.1 support
  • Unified Pairing user interface
  • Windows Connect Now updates

Some of these features may work with existing hardware. However, you must have new hardware to take advantage of the new functionality.

This update is compatible with all versions of Windows Vista. It can be installed only on a computer that is running Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Feature packs have been common in the Windows Server world since at least the mid-1990's, when Microsoft shipped the first versions of IIS and ASP in an NT 4.0 Feature Pack. This is, however, the first time Microsoft has shipped a Feature Pack for a desktop version of Windows, I believe. More important, perhaps, what the frack is this thing? And how do you actually get it? According to the KB article, you must "contact the manufacturer of the computer." It then provides, get this, huge lists of PC makers with phone numbers and Web URLs. Geesh.

Here's how I imagine this one going.

"Hi, HP, this is Paul... Yeah, I wanted to get the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless .... No, I'd never heard of it either ... Right, I have no idea why I need it either ... OK, I'll call back in two months, thanks."