I've always said that Microsoft's worst enemy is Microsoft. First they take it on the chin with lackluster marketing of Vista, then they let Apple walk in and spread FUD like cups at a college keg party. Then they announce that while releasing SP3 for Windows XP, they're also beginning work on Windows 7. Corporate customers who were at least thinking about Vista suddenly had sound reason to wait it out with XP a while longer. Now they're releasing security updates for Windows 7, which isn't even available as a public beta yet. Talk about handing more ammunition to the enemy's marketing departments.
I can already hear the next wave of Apple Mac vs. PC ads: "I'm a Mac".... "And I'm a PC..." (shows PC handing boxes made of clear glass or plastic to a ghost image, representing a not-yet-released product).
The notion being that they're having to patch a product that's not even out the door yet. The image of that is damaging at a point where Vista is just starting to turn a corner of public perception about security, and stability. They should keep those patches on a private channel, only visible and accessible to members of the private beta program. Making them available, or even visible, to the public makes NO SENSE at all. None.
As someone who really likes Vista this gives me the feeling like I just argued successfully that my dog couldn't have possibly messed up the neighbors yard, only to turn around later and find him digging up their flowers. Please tell me the latest news of Windows 7 security patches was just a Halloween joke?