Microsoft has finally released pre-beta versions of Windows XP service pack 3 and Windows Vista service pack 1 to a select group of testers.
Windows Vista suffers from several issues with ReadyBoost, copying/moving large files, resuming from sleep/hibernate and Blu-ray playback on numerous systems. Microsoft solved a number of these problems through 938979 Vista Performance and Reliability Pack and 938194 Vista Compatibility and Reliability Pack. Both packs are available through the download tab.
Windows Vista SP1 (build 6001.16549) is distributed as a 3.07GB iso image for the 32-bit version and 4.3GB for the 64-bit version, while Windows XP Sp1 (Build 5.1.2600.3180) is distributed as a 350MB update which supposedly fixes over 900 issues with the popular operating system.
Microsoft has told select testers that the public beta Windows Vista SP1 will be available within few weeks, but -they they added- it won't be needed since Microsoft has been rolling out fixes and updates regularly via Windows Update. Microsoft also told selected testers earlier this summer that, if testing went smoothly, the final Vista SP1 would be out in November 2007.
Screenshots of both service packs are available in the screens tab, but notice that the themes for some of the screenshots are modified and are not the actual themes from XP SP3 or Vista SP1.