We reported on the reluctant emergence of new updates to improve the stability and reliability of Windows Vista yesterday. But what we didn't realise was that the updates don't appear to feature on the Windows Update website. Nor are they automatically downloading to users' machines.

The updates haven't been officially announced by Microsoft. There hasn't even been any comment about them on the Windows Vista Team Blog. And usually the slightest squeak of activity is trumpeted there.

Web speculation has suggested the updates could have been made available in advance of Microsoft's regular monthly patch release date, Patch Tuesday. This is slated for next week.

It's unlikely the updates are anything to do with Windows Vista Service Pack 1 which will rear its head 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 spokesperson last month.

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