It's finally arrived of, sort of. Vista users have been waiting months for that first service pack from Microsoft after numerous delays and false starts.
As expected, it's coming out in stages. SP is available to users who have their systems set for automatic downloads. You'll know it's happening by a series of popup windows you'll need to click through after the download takes place.
Also as expected, it's only available this time around in English, Spanish, French, Japanese and German. Too bad about those 30- something other languages on hold.
Here's the press release from Microsoft. It takes seven paragraphs on the dramatic growth and change of the Internet to get to the actual details of the service pack. Interpret from that as you see fit.
One little factoid buried in the copy that I found most interesting; 11,000 hardware and software products now carry the official "certified" or "works with" Vista logo. In other words, despite all the bad press and user complaints, we're all tenants in a Vista world now. It will get increasingly more difficult for us Windows users hanging on to our XP as long as possible.
I have hopes Microsoft will get it right next time around. The question is can people like me last with what we've got until that happens and skip this round of Windows altogether.
For those of you who can't, good news; Microsoft is offering a free phone tech support through March of 2009 for those that download the service pack. In the United States, that number is 866-234-6020.
Last updated: Apr 24, 2008
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio