Microsoft is preparing new service packs for Windows Vista and its server counterpart, Windows Server 2008. The updates, according to sources, will likely arrive before the release of Windows 7. Details of expected features and release dates are scarce at the moment, but rumors indicate that Microsoft may have already shipped beta versions of SP2 to select hardware and software partners.

Microsoft is expected to release a public Beta 1 of Windows 7 before the end of the year, and a final version in the second half of 2009, thus leaving little time to rollout the updates to Vista and Server 2008. Given the timing, some speculate that Microsoft may include some aspects of Windows 7's functionality into Vista with the new service packs. What’s more, many believe that Windows 7 will be just a second revision of Vista, and Microsoft itself has been sending mixed messages with Steve Ballmer recently saying “Windows 7 will be Vista, but a lot better.”

We’ll probably have a much clearer picture later this month when Microsoft shares more details on the upcoming operating system at PDC 2008. So, are you looking forward to the release of a second service pack for Vista or plan to stick with Windows XP and wait to see what Windows 7 brings to the table?