Last week, Microsoft announced the Release to Manufacturing of Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista Service Pack 1. The same day as an MSDN subscriber, I could download Windows Server 2008 and begin testing on the final product. Not so for Windows Vista SP1 however. Microsoft have announced that this will be available some time in March… Sorry??? What was the RTM then? If the product is not ready they why did you Release it to Manufacturing? I feel more and more that the marketing machine at Microsoft is driving product release dates which bear no relevance at all to the product being ready for release. I’ve seen it before with Exchange 2007 which even Microsoft have commented was stripped of features just to make the release date. Features which later showed up in Service Pack 1 for Exchange 2007.
Vista SP1 however has made its way onto the pirate sites, and some people are therefore going to those extremes to download it from there simply to ensure they can keep their time tables on schedule. Microsoft are effectively promoting piracy by driving people to those sites. If the product is not ready Microsoft, then DON’T RELEASE IT. We’ll be upset if you miss a deadline, but what is worse – releasing a product that is not ready, or announcing you’ve released it when it’s not ready?
Nope – Microsoft have really really let the side down here. There is no clear message at all on this and it stinks.