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Windows Vista "pre-beta" SP1  (Source: WinBeta)
Microsoft rolls out SP1 for Windows Vista and SP3 for Windows XP

Microsoft is hard at work on Service Pack 1 (SP1) for Windows Vista. Microsoft's latest consumer operating system launched in November and is expected to be used by over 200 million people before the end of 2007.

As is the case with any operating system, Vista is far from perfect. There have been issues with ReadyBoost, copying/moving large files, resuming from sleep/hibernate and Blu-ray playback on numerous systems.

Microsoft addressed a number of these problems in late July through the release of the "938979 Vista Performance and Reliability Pack" and "938194 Vista Compatibility and Reliability Pack." The software packs were originally issued only to Vista beta testers, but are now available to the general public.

Those fixes along with a host of other updates are expected to make their way into SP1. A private beta of SP1 was issued in early July and testers have been pinging ZDNET's Mary Jo Foley regarding the latest builds. According to Foley, each tester that contacted her had a different build number.

"My first guess was the secrecy-obsessed Windows Vista team might be providing different testers with different build numbers in order to trace leaks," said Foley.

This move isn't too surprising considering that the folks at Microsoft weren't too happy with Foley's report on the SP1 beta.

According to AeroXperience, the latest build of SP1 sent to testers was labeled 6001.16549. In addition, WinBeta claims to have screenshots of SP1 which was distributed via an ISO -- 3.07GB for the 32-bit version and 4.3GB for the 64-bit version.

In addition to the SP1 information, AeroXperience also reports that Windows XP SP3 was released to testers (Build 5.1.2600.3180). The download weighs in at 350MB and supposedly fixes over 900 issues with the operating system.

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RE: Why's the 64-bit version 30% bigger?
By ChristopherO on 8/8/2007 1:42:54 PM , Rating: 3
Actually the real reason is that the compiled code is just larger... If you take a simple function, compile it via an x86 compiler, then do a separate build with an x64 compiler, the 64-bit code will be 30% bigger.

You need to remember, compiled code is not like saving a word document. Rather the compiler changes whatever a programmer creates into machine code. The machine code will be vastly different based on a multitude of things (registers, underlying architecture, CISC/RISC, etc).

The code size is even more inflated when you move from a CISC to RISC platform. As an example, the x64 code is 30% bigger than x86 code, but IA64 (Itanium code) is 150% larger. Once again, this is due to the architecture of the chip. The exact same code will end up being different sizes on different platforms...

The data files will be the exact same size. Meaning a game compiled for 64-bit will have a larger executable but none of the other resources will need to change. As a result, if you examine windows disks the only thing you'll notice with inflated sizes are EXE, dll, and any other type of file containing compiled executable code. 64-bit Windows contains a discrete subsystem for 32-bit execution, but it does not contain an individual set of files. 64-bit system files contain the same APIs as 32-bit variants and are thus used with the 32-bit emulator (WoW 64).

RE: Why's the 64-bit version 30% bigger?
By sturedrup on 8/9/2007 5:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
The only one here that could explain why x64 windows is 30% bigger was ChristopherO, however even that explanation probably went over a lot of peoples heads. I’ll try and explain it in VERY SIMPLE terms.

X64 Windows runs NATIVE X64 CODE when it first boots up, hell the x64 system is the EXACT same size as the X86 version.

Now in order to run an x86 application the x64 system runs a subsystem emulator called “WoW64”. To explain WoW64 it’s the bones (not the skin, organs or nervous system) of the x86 version of windows.

Now the drivers for graphics, cpu, printer, keyboard, etc are ONLY in x64 code. Why? Remember when you first boot up an x64 OS your in x64 territory, and x86 code means jack all to x64. HOWEVER system drivers like .DLL, .NET and registry values MUST contain both x64 and x86. This is because applications are in either x64 or x86 code. This becomes confusing because x64 DLL’s only work with x64, and x86 …… you get the idea.

Now I’ll try and explain how an x64 OS functions:

You boot up your pc and the desktop loads, your system is running native x64 code. You decide to run BF2 (remember this is just and example). You execute bf2.exe. x64 windows detects an x86 code and boots up WoW64, and this is where the fun starts. WoW64 must then TRANSLATE the x86 bf2.exe into x64 code. This is because the native system is x64 and x86 code is jibbajabba, also more importantly your graphics driver especially is only running x64 code. However bf2.exe runs off x86 .net and .dll’s, EVERYTHING ELSE must be translated into x64 code.

So to answer your question, why is x64 windows 30% larger? Simple, x64 contains its native code and the bones of x86 systems. The 30% increase is not “entirely” from the size of x64 code, more importantly it contains another system’s code and acts as a subsystem, therefore increasing its size.


By Jedi2155 on 8/9/2007 5:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't it WoW32?

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher

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