No big surprise here, but Microsoft has announced the RTM (release to manufacturing) of both Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) and Windows Server 2008. I've written up a new story, updated the SP1 FAQ, and will review both soon. In the meantime, here are some Microsoft blog posts celebrating the releases:

Announcing the RTM of Windows Vista SP1
Today we are excited to announce that we have released Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista to manufacturing (RTM) for our first set of languages (English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese).

Here's the timing for SP1 availability for current Windows Vista users:

  • In mid-March, we will release Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Update (in English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese) and to the download center on microsoft.com.  Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1.  If Windows Update determines that the system has one of the drivers we know to be problematic, then Windows Update will not offer SP1.  Since we know that some customers may want to update to SP1 anyhow, the download center will allow anyone who wants to install SP1 to do so.

  • In mid-April, we will begin delivering Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Vista customers who have chosen to have updates downloaded automatically.  That said, any system that Windows Update determines has a driver known to not update successfully will not get SP1 automatically.  As updates for these drivers become available, they will be installed automatically by Windows Update, which will unblock these systems from getting Service Pack 1.  The result is that more and more systems will automatically get SP1, but only when we are confident they will have a good experience.

  • The remaining languages will RTM in April.

Windows Server 2008 - RTM!!!
In the final days leading up to RTM, the tone in the war room meetings was calm, almost too calm because there were minimal bugs to resolve and final testing went very smoothly.  We focused on testing of the code changes made in Nov/Dec to make sure nothing regressed. Hundreds of system component teams across the Windows division and Microsoft performed their escrow test passes and signed off.  The last important step was to ensure our deployment customers, OEMs, and Microsoft IT were satisfied and had no major issues.

For the past two years we have run performance benchmarks against Windows Server 2003, the Lone Server, and saw significant performance benefits with IIS7, File transfer using SMB2, and across multiple networking scenarios.  I expect that customers will see significant improvements running Windows Server 2008 because we only install the binaries and services required for the specific role they deploy.  This means a small server footprint, easier management, and less servicing.  With server core, you can even install a GUI-free server.

I am extremely proud of the Windows Server development team who worked hard to ensure that Windows Server 2008 is a world-class operating system.   Every day I get to come to work with such smart and dedicated people, and we will remember this moment for the rest of our lives.  For the development team, the celebration begins today. But we’ll continue to celebrate and look forward to seeing a lot of our customers and partners at the Heroes Happen Here Launch event in LA, on February 27!

I'm going to the launch, BTW. Anyone else?