The owner of Hotfix, a blog dedicated to software patches, has posted more than 100 fixes he said were expected to be included in Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Ethan Allen has posted a preview and information centre for SP1, a site that includes many of the software patches Microsoft will include in the package, he said. Allen said he had received the fixes from someone close to Microsoft who has access to the technology.

Sources close to Microsoft confirmed Monday that it is currently testing SP1, however, the company has not yet announced a definite date for the software pack's release, beyond saying it will be out in the second half of 2007. Microsoft also has kept mum about what fixes will be included in the update.

According to Allen, SP1 will include device driver and software compatibility technology that many users had hoped would be available in the OS from the start. Among them will be support for third-party USB and Firewire devices such as digital cameras, in particular products from Sony that have been having compatibility problems with Vista, Allen said.

There also will be patches to improve the TV playback and other Media Center capabilities in Vista, as well as to repair inconsistencies with the power management functions such as sleep and hibernation modes, he said.

What will be noticeably missing from the service pack, however, will be updates to Vista security, Allen said. "What's most surprising is there are hardly any security fixes at all," although, he said, Vista was already more secure than any previous version of Windows.

A complete listing of patches that should be included in SP1 can be found on the Vista SP1 preview site, and Allen said he will be adding more as he gains access to them.

Microsoft typically releases service packs, or collections of software patches, for major software products within a year of a product's first full release to fix the software's initial glitches. Many products often have least two service packs, and Microsoft is expected to have a third service pack for Windows XP sometime this year.

Allen, a former Microsoft employee, has already posted on the Hotfix site patches that he expects will be a part of Windows XP SP3, although Microsoft has never confirmed that Allen's patches are valid.

Although the official word from Microsoft for Vista SP1's release date is the second half of 2007, Allen said he suspects the release will be timed closely with the busy holiday shopping season in November and December.

"I think what Microsoft is trying to do is patch this thing up so by Christmas time when everyone is starting to go out and buy their machines, Vista will be more compatible with applications and products out there," he said.