Microsoft releases details on Vista SP1

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Redmond (WA) – Microsoft says Service Pack 1 for Vista should be available in the next few weeks to select beta testers and the general public in the first quarter of 2008.  On the company’s Windows Vista Team Blog, Brandon LeBlanc says the update will include a host of performance and feature upgrades.  Like previous service packs, Microsoft will have several versions available for home and enterprise users.

The quickest way to install SP1 will be to download the Express version which sends only the necessary changes.  LeBlanc says this version should be approximately 50 MB.  IT staff however will probably want to download the huge 1 GB (yes that’s a gigabyte) “Stand Alone” package which contains every file.  After the download, IT support stuff can then install SP1 from a shared server. 

Lastly, people can try the SlipStream install which embeds the service pack files into the operating system install disc.  Beta testers and volume license customers will be the first ones to get this disc.

Early adopters of Vista have found several problems, including slow copying of files both locally and over the network.  Thankfully SP1 will supposedly fix those problems and add some reliability improvements.  Some of those include

•    Improved reliability and compatibility of Windows Vista when used with newer graphics cards in several specific scenarios and configurations.
•    Improved reliability when working with external displays on a laptop.
•    Improved Windows Vista reliability in networking configuration scenarios.
•    Improved reliability of systems that were upgraded from Windows XP to Windows Vista.
•    Increased compatibility with many printer drivers.
•    Increased reliability and performance of Windows Vista when entering sleep and resuming from sleep.
LeBlanc admits that some companies have been waiting for Service Pack 1 before upgrading to Vista.  This has been typical of Microsoft’s previous operating systems like XP and 2000 where corporate customers waited for the first or even second service packs to migrate their company’s computers.  “Organizations do not need to wait for SP1 to deploy Windows Vista; they are encouraged to begin their Windows Vista evaluation and deployment now,” urged LeBlanc.

You can get full details at Microsoft’s Vista Team Blog here.