For a Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Beta vaguely coming “sometime this year“, everything seems to be rolling along right now. Private beta in-progress, TechEd sessions, products roadmap, kernel documentations and even advisories to hardware manufacturers for new WHQL tests. And there’s no sign of slowing down as two more SP1 cameo appearances has been recently spotted in Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 and DirectX SDK August 2007.
Thanks to a tipoff by Mustapha Adjiri as well as hawks-eye Channel9 member stun, inside the Visual Studio 2008 “Orcas” Beta 2 distributed last week was a readme file with specific mentions of a Vista SP1 beta. Unfortunately to those special few running SP1, they’ll have problems installing Orcas.
“When Orcas is installed on a Windows Vista SP1 Beta platform, the .Net Framework has mismatched versions. This causes random failures in the product.” I’m assuming the culprit is a rollup release of .NET Framework 3.0 included in SP1 which Orcas has issues detecting. With no apparent workaround, sucks to be beta testing both at once.
Thanks to another tipoff by Brian (update: and brownie points to AeroXP too), Vista SP1 is doing more good than bad for another part of the development platform. It appears everyone is taking DirectX 10 nice and slow except Microsoft who’s now readying to roll out the first revision before anyone has even took advantage of the first release yet, Direct3D 10.1. In the August 2007 release of the DirectX SDK it writes,
Direct3D 10.1 Tech Preview
Direct3D 10.1 is an incremental, side-by-side update to Direct3D 10.0 that provides a series of new rendering features that will be available in an upcoming generation of graphics hardware.
- TextureCube Arrays which are dynamically indexable in shader code.
- An updated shader model (shader model 4.1).
- The ability to select the MSAA sample pattern for a resource from a palette of patterns, and retrieve the corresponding sample positions.
- The ability to render to block-compressed textures.
- More flexibility with respect to copying of resources.
- Support for blending on all unorm and snorm formats.
This tech preview provides an early look at these features and the handful of new APIs that support them. The August 2007 Direct3D 10.1 Tech Preview requires the Windows Vista SP1 Beta which will be available to MSDN subscribers once it is publicly released.
What’s interesting is the reference to a Windows Vista SP1 MSDN release that hasn’t been mentioned before. However, I’m not sure if they mean MSDN subscribers will get it first, or simultaneously during the public beta test. Since there’s only 154 days left in “sometime this year”, it could ship any day now. 😉