Rumours are circulating that the first service pack for the troubled Vista operating system will not be available until 2009.

The SP1 beta was expected imminently, but if this rumour is to be believed (the source is "ironclad" apparently) that would explain why Microsoft have been keen to play down the earlier release dates touted on the web.

Microsoft has apparently told executives at "one of the world's largest PC makers" that the SP1 will not be formally released for 2 years.

The SP1 will contain not only changes to the search functionality in Vista, after the recent Google-initiated ruling stating the desktop search was unfair, but also upgrades and bug fixes to Vista.

The release of the service pack is widely thought to be one of the reasons people (as well as big businesses) are holding off buying into the new system, and the reason Windows XP, Microsoft's older software has been seeing renewed sales of late.

Officially Microsoft has said that the service pack would be available later this year, but has not provided concrete dates.

If true, this will put Microsoft in the firing line from not only disappointed consumers, but from industry heavyweights.

The CEO of Acer was recently quoted as stating that "the entire industry is disappointed by Vista".