Microsoft now has made available to the public the latest beta build of Vista Service Pack 1. Although still not a final version of Vista SP1, the latest release is said to be on track with the estimated first quarter 2008 release date for the final first service pack for vista.
There are two ways to install the service pack, first, as a pop-up notification that the service pack is ready to be installed (this is the method in which most users will install the service pack) and using multiple manual installations from Windows Update. The first method is the simplest, but may take up to four days for the Windows Update Automatic Update feature to deliver each of the 3 prerequisites and the service pack.
Detailed instructions from Microsoft are available here for the update.
This update requires previous versions of SP1 to be uninstalled first, and there are several updates you’ll need to apply to your existing Vista install which can’t be removed later should you want to downgrade to a stable version of Vista.
Microsoft officials said the Vista SP1 RC includes changes that streamline setup and installation. It also includes all previously released updates since RTM, performance and reliability improvements such as file copy, network browsing and improved response time to resume from sleep, and change to administration features, including changes to BitLocker that allow encryption for multiple volumes.