A Microsoft executive has revealed that Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista is due in the "next few weeks". Core Operating System Division (COSD) chief Jon DeVaan admits the release won't introduce any new features. But he said an early version of the software has gone out to a small group of testers before being sent out to a larger group as a pre-release beta.

DeVaan still maintains a release date of the first quarter of 2008 but says the "exact date really depends on feedback we receive from testers". He also admitted that the release of the first Service Pack for Windows Vista is taking "a little longer than it was for Windows 2000 or Windows XP".

And what can we expect from the new service pack? "I should [say] that one thing people shouldn't expect to see is new features," said DeVaan. "Although some existing components and features will be enhanced."

As for security, DeVaan maintains that Windows Vista is "the most secure version of Windows ever". He cited vulnerability reports showing that Windows Vista had 50 per cent fewer critical vulnerabilities than Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Interestingly, DeVaan predicts that the footprint of SP1 will be around 50MB.

Microsoft also formally announced two performance updates for Vista, which are available by Windows Update.