Print 28 comment(s) - last by AnnihilatorX.. on Dec 4 at 5:41 PM

Get the latest Vista update while its steaming hot

With the impending release of Windows 7 next year, Windows Vista SP2 seems set to launch next summer with its developers rushing to incorporate the many fixes and upgrades they had planned in time.  The release appears to be moving along on schedule, with the first beta set to make its public debut tomorrow.

Previously, Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 was only available to select partners -- "Technology Adoption Program" customers.  Today it is free to download to any MSDN or TechNet subscribers, and it goes live for the general public tomorrow through the Customer Preview Program (CPP).

Microsoft describes:

The CPP is intended for technology enthusiasts, developers, and IT Pros who would like to test Service Pack 2 in their environments and with their applications prior to final release. For most customers, our best advice would be to wait until the final release prior to installing this service pack.

For those of you who choose to test this service pack, we encourage you to install the beta as soon as you can; your feedback will help us to ship a solid and stable service pack for Windows Vista.

As with previous service packs, SP2 bundles Windows Updates released since SP1 into a single source.  It also adds support for key new standards.  One update is Windows Search 4.0 which should provide faster searches and improved relevancy in results.  The update will also ensure that Vista and Server 2008 are compatible with the latest Bluetooth tech, via the Bluetooth 2.1 Feature Pack.  Native recording to Blu-Ray on Vista is also now supported at last.

A new utility called Windows Connect Now (WCN) is also added to help users set up wireless networks more easily.  In order to synchronize files across time zones, Microsoft also adds exFAT file system to support UTC timestamps.

Many other minor features are also featured in the new service pack.  Overall Microsoft hopes that it makes Windows Vista and Server 2008 use a bit easier and more intuitive, while fixing outstanding issues.

Head on over to TechNet tomorrow if you want to download SP2 as part of the Customer Preview Program.

Comments     Threshold

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RE: I'm not installing it
By SpaceRanger on 12/3/2008 11:50:04 AM , Rating: 4
Ummm... Beta Testers?

RE: I'm not installing it
By fleshconsumed on 12/3/08, Rating: -1
RE: I'm not installing it
By omnicronx on 12/3/2008 12:32:54 PM , Rating: 3
How can Microsoft beta test proprietary software? Your snide remarks just show you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. You don't just drop in a Service pack release into production environments without doing the proper testing.

Other OS's (not going to name names) have the luxury of not having the corporate user base that needs to do such testing.

RE: I'm not installing it
By KingViper on 12/3/2008 12:37:43 PM , Rating: 3
So if you were the network administrator for a large company, instead of having a system to test this in would just wait until the full release came out..and then throw it into your environment?

I don't care how much testing everyone else has ever done, you still have to test it in your own system, this just gives the administrators a head start.

We get it ok...some people hate Microsoft and want to complain about everything they do; however, please think before you speak.

RE: I'm not installing it
By kkwst2 on 12/3/2008 12:43:42 PM , Rating: 5
Well, you're not doing it for them. They certainly benefit to some degree by it,'re doing it because:

1) you are a hardware/software developer and have a vested interest in early access to the code to ensure your products work with the new code
2) you are an IT person that wants to evaluate the code early and make sure it doesn't break stuff
3) you desire new features in the release and are willing to take the (relatively small) risk of using beta code
4) you just like to have the latest stuff and either know how to cover yourself or just don't care.

I'm sure there are other variants/reasons on top of this.

In reality, most major bugs should have been found by now and the risk of catastrophe is relatively small. Furthermore, getting a final release doesn't guarantee you protection from disaster, as witnessed by the WHS debacle. Bottom line, if your data or install matters, you'd better back it up before any major platform upgrades/changes.

RE: I'm not installing it
By Bateluer on 12/3/2008 2:03:27 PM , Rating: 2
Well stated.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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