Microsoft has finally released a full statement about the release of the first Service Pack for Windows Vista . Rumours abounded yesterday that Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) would be released in beta form next week, with a full release in November.

The latter date still looks likely, with Microsoft admitting the release is definitely slated before the end of the year.

"There will be a Windows Vista Service pack but it's too early to discuss specifics on timing," said a Microsoft spokesman. He went on to play down the significance of SP1 by implying its forthcoming release was "part of the traditional software lifecycle".

"They're something we do for all Microsoft products as part of our commitment to continuous improvement, and providing early test builds is a standard practice that helps us incorporate customer feedback and improve the overall quality of the product.

"The team is working hard on the service pack, and our current expectation is that a beta will be made available sometime this year."