I’ve already posted some early screenshots of the first external build of Windows Vista Service Pack 2, but it looks like Microsoft is trying to muscle in on my action now. :)

Here’s the word from Mike Nash:

We are committed to continually improving Windows, and we've been getting some questions about the timing of the next service pack for Windows Vista.  Following the success of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 last spring, we have been working hard on Windows Vista Service Pack 2. As a part of the development and testing process, we're going to start by providing a small group of Technology Adoption Program customers with Windows Vista SP2 Beta for evaluation next Wednesday, October 29. The final release date for Windows Vista SP2 will be based on quality. So we'll track customer and partner feedback from the beta program before setting a final date for the release.

Windows Vista SP2 Beta contains previously released fixes focused on addressing specific reliability, performance, and compatibility issues. We expect Windows Vista SP2 will retain compatibility with applications that run on Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP1 and are written using public APIs.

In addition to previously released updates since the launch of Windows Vista SP1, Windows Vista SP2 contains changes focused on supporting new types of hardware and adding support for several emerging standards:

  • Windows Vista SP2 adds Windows Search 4.0 for faster and improved relevancy in searches.
  • Windows Vista SP2 contains the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack supporting the most recent specification for Bluetooth Technology.
  • Ability to record data on to Blu-Ray media natively in Windows Vista.
  • Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) to simplify Wi-Fi Configuration.
  • Windows Vista SP2 enables the exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps, which allows correct file synchronization across time zones.