Along with yesterday's announcement that Windows Server 2008 has been released to testers as Release Candidate 0, the company also released an invitation-only beta of Windows Vista Service Pack 1, moving ahead with the much anticipated update to the company's latest operating system which is slated to ship in the first quarter of 2008.

Although testers are under non-disclosure about the beta build and are not supposed to discuss it publicly, Microsoft team blogger Brandon LeBlanc published has already written about his experience with SP1. The update is not expected to be packed with new features, but rather improve or refine existing features based on user feedback, including improved logon times, new options in the disk defragmenter, improved responsiveness when resuming from Hibernate and Sleep modes and a few minor tweaks to specific areas of UI.

One notable change is that the Search link has been removed from the Start menu, following Google's complaint to state and federal regulators that the built-in search functionality in Vista limited third party programs. Instead, users will see a new 'Search Everywhere' link, which will launch whatever is the user's default desktop search program. You can head over to the Windows Experience Blog to read more about Vista SP1 beta.