Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and Server 2008 is finished
Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc has announced that Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and Server 2008 has been released to manufacturing, but delivery has not yet begun: LeBlanc quotes the second quarter of this year as the target date – so it could come any day.
SP2 contains all the patches issued by Microsoft since the last Service Pack. Installation of SP2 requires a previous install of Service Pack 1, which is already incorporated in Server 2008, but requires a discrete install for Vista. With SP1, Microsoft put Vista and Server 2008 on the same Xen code base.
As well as patches, SP2 contains extensions for some functions, for example Windows Search 4.0, Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless (including support for Bluetooth 2.1), and support for Blu-ray. A change overview and a brief on the most notable changes are available from Microsoft TechNet.
The size of the SP2 download will vary, because it comes in several versions. There are stand-alone versions (exe files) that update varieties of Vista in English, German, French, Japanese and Spanish, and a five-language version is obtainable for x86, x64 and ia64. If you use other language versions, you'll need the larger package that contains all 36 language versions in which Vista is obtainable (an all-language version can also be had for x86, x64 and ia64). All the stand-alone packages for x86, x64 and ia64 can be obtained together as an ISO image (as Five Languages and All Languages). The size of the download ranges from around 350 MB (x86 five-language stand-alone) to more than 1.6 GB (all-language ISO image).
The download is much smaller if you use the Windows update function on Vista or Server 2008 (x86 and x64 only), because only the data required for the installed Windows version will need to be downloaded, a total of between 43 and 90 MB.