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Microsoft expands Vista SP2 testing

Starting on Thursday, the software maker will make public a test version of the service pack update to Vista.

Microsoft said on Tuesday that it is ready for broader testing of Windows Vista Service Pack 2, the second collection of fixes for the latest version of the operating system. In addition to bug fixes and performance tweaks, Service Pack 2 adds support for Blu-ray, Bluetooth 2.1, and Windows Search 4.0, the latest version of Microsoft's desktop search technology.

In a blog posting, Microsoft VP Mike Nash said that while Microsoft is offering the customer preview program to all interested parties, not everyone should download SP2 in test form.

"The (test version) is intended for technology enthusiasts, developers, and IT Pros who would like to test Service Pack 2 in their environments and with their applications prior to final release," Nash said. " For most customers, our best advice would be to wait until the final release prior to installing this service pack.

Microsoft announced in late October that it was starting limited testing of the update.

Nash said Vista SP2 is on track to arrive sometime before the end of June. "As of today, we are tracking to ship Windows Vista SP2 in the first half of 2009," Nash said.