Microsoft claims an error in an e-mail led to reports that it has released a trial version of Vista Service Pack 1 when, in fact, no date has officially been confirmed for its launch.
The confusion began on Tuesday when Web site WinBeta.org posted an e-mail from Microsoft's Windows Driver Kit (WDK) team saying Microsoft had released a beta version of Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).
"A new beta WDK build is now available for download on Connect," said the e-mail. "This WDK beta release to Connect coincides with the recent OS beta release for Vista SP1 Preview."
News agencies and bloggers picked up on the post, prompting the WDK team to update the e-mail on Wednesday, saying that the original had featured a typographic error, and that the build available was for the upcoming Windows Server 2008.
"Apologies all. We made a typo in the last notification that referenced the wrong OS," said the second e-mail from the WDK team. "We didn't mean to imply or cause any confusion on the availability of the service pack for Vista. The WDK build available now on Connect is the latest for Windows Server 2008."
Microsoft further clarified its position on Thursday, when it sent this statement to ZDNet UK:
"There will be a Windows Vista service pack but it's too early to discuss specifics on timing. Service packs are 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."
Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.