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  (Source: Microsoft)

  (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft spills the beans on Vista SP1

After months of leaks and speculation, Microsoft is finally ready to talk about Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Nick White, a product manager for Microsoft, posted today on the Windows Vista Team Blog that Vista SP1 will be released during the first quarter of 2008.

"We improve the Windows Vista experience by continuing to work closely with software partners to ensure application compatibility," said White. "We likewise align efforts with partners on the hardware side of the business to broaden the range of devices that work with Windows Vista and to constantly improve device driver quality."

"We didn’t design SP1 as a vehicle for releasing new features; however, some existing components do gain enhanced functionality in SP1," White added.

A new beta release of Vista SP1 is scheduled to be made available to a select group of testers during the first half of September. This is in addition to an even smaller pool of testers who have been testing a private beta of Vista SP1.

In keeping with its full disclosure on Vista SP1, Microsoft has posted a white paper on the SP1 beta. The white paper details the improvement that Microsoft has made in application compatibility and driver support as well as improvements to security and reliability.

The white paper also notes that there will be three ways of delivering Vista SP1:  Express, Stand-alone and Slipstream. The Express install will require a 50MB download from the Internet. System-specific updates will then be downloaded from Microsoft’s servers.

The Stand-alone package will be roughly 1GB in size for x86 systems. Customers, however, will be able to deploy SP1 to any Vista installation with the Stand-alone package and it will be compatible with the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 software.

Finally, Slipstream versions of Windows Vista with SP1 included will be made available to Volume Licensing Customers (and later in retail packaging). Microsoft does note, however, that "customers cannot apply SP1 to offline Windows Vista images." This could mean that customers will not able to make their own personal Slipstream copy of Windows Vista SP1 from an existing Windows Vista disc.

Installation of Windows Vista SP1 regardless of which method chosen will require a minimum of 7GB free disk space on x86 machines and 12GB free disk space on x64 machines. Microsoft does state that "most of this space will be reclaimed after installation."

As previously stated, Microsoft is targeting a Q1 2008 release time frame. That could change depending on a variety of factors according to Microsoft. "We’re first and foremost focused on delivering a high-quality release, so we'll determine the exact release date of SP1 after we have reached that quality bar," remarked White.

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RE: Vista has gone Gold
By Master Kenobi on 8/29/2007 1:37:02 PM , Rating: 5
Lame. Vista was out of beta on January 28th 2007. Anyone saying otherwise is spreading FUD. The Vista launch was smoother than the XP launch. It seems many people seem to forget just how many problems we had with drivers and software when XP was first released. It's an OS thing, get over it. Stop bashing Microsoft for something completely outside of their control. If you want to smack talk about problems, talk to the driver makers. Tts not like Vista was a surprise, RC1 was available a YEAR in advance of the launch and was publically tested by several million users in an open any hardware configuration. If drivers are "green" or "lacking" its because the manufacturers are lazy and lack even traces of foresight.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By Griswold on 8/29/2007 1:57:24 PM , Rating: 5
Amen. I installed vista exactly once so far, in the first week of february and the same install works to this day - flawlessly. Thats something XP never did for me on a first install... :/

I consider vista overall more robust than XP was back in the day. Even XP SP2 gave me more trouble than vista on the same hardware, 2 years ago.

For 9 out of 10 issues I can blame a hardware vendor and its lacking driver quality - above all: nvidia.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By BitJunkie on 8/29/2007 2:28:29 PM , Rating: 3
I have 3 Installations of Vista under my belt:

1) Upgraded a HP laptop from XP Home to Vista Ultimate 32 Bit.
2) Installed Vista Ultimate 64 bit on a new build cutting edge C2D system
3) Installed Vista Home Premium 32 bit on a knackered old Athlon X2 system.

I can honestly say I haven't had a major problem with any of those installs. The biggest problem I've had has been with Creative's drivers for 64 bit (which are now pretty much okay). Oh, and nVidia's lack of decent SLI support early on...which now is kind of functional if not optimised completely.

As for Vista, I love it. Not a fanboi - just call it how I see it. It's easy to use and I love the new UI in Office 2007 - as a power user of Word and Excel the streamlining of the new ribbons is a great help and a joy to use. The account control is better than Linux based systems where you have to constantly "su" to elevate.

It's just the funky thing to do - hating on Microsoft, but pretty soon people are going to realise what a good effort they actually made. My company is upgrading to Vista en masse in the next 6 months, lots of excited people.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By jeromekwok on 8/29/2007 9:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think we had too much trouble with XP. Almost every piece of hardware works in 2000 also works in XP with the same driver. It is pretty smooth if you upgrade to XP from 2000. Of course more troubles for guys from 98 or ME.

If you say Vista was smoother than 2000 I would agree.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By JB1592 on 8/29/2007 10:29:11 PM , Rating: 3
Almost every piece of hardware works in 2000 also works in XP with the same driver

While that may be true, it should also be noted that a lot of vendors never bothered with Windows 2000 drivers because it wasn't a "home" operating system. For example, ATI never had decent drivers for 2000. I had a Rage 128 that couldn't even scroll graphics heavy websites smoothly under Win2k.

It would appear though that some vendors learned their lesson from that, while others have turned in the opposite direction. I've heard from a lot of people that ATI's drivers are better in Vista than nVidia's. That's a complete turnaround from the times when ATI's 2000 drivers were HORRENDOUS and nVidia's were quite good.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By Master Kenobi on 8/30/2007 7:10:51 AM , Rating: 3
Indeed, the most common upgrade was 98(SE)/ME to XP. I saw very few home users on 2000 since it was never never widely sold to home users.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By leexgx on 8/29/2007 10:21:05 PM , Rating: 1
the reson it was most likey not smooth was due to hardware problems as XP did show problems that norm did not popup offen in win98

been useing XP before day one :) aprt from my old dos games every thing els worked fine,

Vista is just not an gameing platform at this time for norm home use seems fine as long as you do not get get UAC click Allow/Continue to drop mallware onto the pc and make it not able to boot any more or get explorer stuck in an crash and restart loop, allso Networking in vista is an compleat hit an miss game when it does not work give No feedback on what the problem is

found an exploit that could be used on vista useing UAC it self and all it needs it needs to do is crash explorer once and start it up in Full UAC mode
open task man > end task explorer.exe Up task man to Full admin mode (click show all users) start explorer.exe all programs will have full UAC bypass now

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By Master Kenobi on 8/30/2007 7:09:34 AM , Rating: 4
Vista is a fine gaming platform, as good or better than XP. I'm again quite fed up with the amount of FUD that is being generated over this. There is NOTHING wrong with gaming on Vista, nothing at all.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By InsidiousAngel on 8/30/2007 7:40:33 AM , Rating: 2
I will have to agree with you to a point on this. Vista is fine for gaming, just not great. This goes back to green device drivers, most notably video drivers. Most of the issues seem to revolve around the 8800 series of Nvidia cards, which I have. Up until one of the more recent driver releases (162.18 if memory serves me correctly), when I run 2 monitors in dual view mode and try launching a game, the end result would be the infamous nvlddmkm crash.

I won’t even touch the X-FI/Alchemy/Vista Audio stack situation. Note I didn’t say issue as, like stated above, vendors had plenty of time to get solutions for Vista in place.

So to say there is nothing wrong with gaming on Vista isn't a totally true statement. Some configurations have no issues, others do. Not to sound like I’m attacking anyone, that’s not my intent, but just because you are having no issues doesn’t mean the rest of the world isn’t either. Just my 2 cents. =)

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By Master Kenobi on 8/30/2007 7:59:50 AM , Rating: 3
I'm swapping my X1900XTX card for an 8800GTX today in fact. I will let you know how that rolls. But yes I am aware there was a long string of problems with nVidia's drivers at launch and most of the problems werent resolved until something like June/July timeframe. I won't get into SLI as I'm aware that still has problems, but then again SLI has problems of one sort or another on every OS. I had a problem running OpenGL apps under the ATI driver when using 2 screens. Kept having to switch back to 1 screen to make it work, this was resolved back in May. DirectX games seem to be ok though, with the exception of some poor drivers, if the game works without crashing it seems to play just as good as on XP.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By InsidiousAngel on 8/30/2007 9:34:52 AM , Rating: 2
That's the same upgrade I did earlier this year. I think you will be pleased.

Yeah SLI has issues no matter what OS, I completely agree there. The only major issue I have come across in my testing at work has been a system resource crash when copying large quantities of files.

For the record, I have to agree with you regarding the Vista launch was smoother. I remember all the complaining about WinXP runs games xx% slower than 98(SE) and poor print drivers, poor audio drivers, etc. As I tell everyone I work with and game with, just like WinXP, give Vista a year to mature and things will turn around.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By BitJunkie on 8/30/2007 2:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
The FUD is an interesting phenomenon RE: Vista. I remember back to the launch of XP and lots of my friends were jumping all over it - they were proper early adopters and happy to embrace the whole experience as such (warts and all).

Vista is different - Could it be a backlash from the "enthusiasts" who hate being forced to pay for the software due to enhanced anti-piracy systems? Do they seize on the newest irrational and unfounded reasons to hate vista to justify their lack of early adoption (which is atypical for the entusiast community). The opinions of the vocal minority are amplified and perpetuated by enthusiasts on various fora that are also visited by the media - and so this becomes the entrenched position.

Eitherway, everyone I know who upgraded to Vista had a good experience and is happy with the outcome - the OS presents a much happier and more comfortable environment to ustilise on a daily basis....but this is at odds to the vocal "enthusiasts" who are shaping "opinion".

The irony is that these "enthusiasts" may not have even tried the OS but are happy to flame it's reputation none-the-less. Has the "enthusiast" community grown to become an ultra-conservative, stagnant and lethargic group that now fails to push, pursue and question in their former position at the vanguard of technological innovation? Is The vocal enthusiast no longer hunting for the next S-Curve, but busy chasing benchmarks. If so, then who is it that's first on the curve these days? Do we need to hunt them out and give them a new name, and relegate the enthusiast community to benchmark obsessed irrelevants?

It's certainly makes an interesting case study in the diffusion of innovations.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By TomZ on 8/30/2007 2:47:26 PM , Rating: 1
I agree, and I would add that today, more than there was with the XP release, there are probably far more Linux (and maybe OS X) advocates speaking out against Vista. You tend to see this with some of the more ill-informed posts that critize Vista for something that doesn't make sense, then go on to say they're going to load up some distribution of Linux. It is my opinion that these are people who are already running Linux just taking cheap shots at Vista.

Just to be clear, I'm not saying all Linux advocates are doing this, just that there is a larger vocal group now compared to XP's release.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By thestereotype on 8/30/2007 11:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
Except no SLI yet.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By Master Kenobi on 8/31/2007 7:53:01 AM , Rating: 2
SLI is a joke. Besides, I have 2 monitors, I couldn't SLI if I wanted to. SLI was one of the dumbest ideas to grace the computer world, the amount of raw power and heat displacement of a modern graphics card is insane.. And you want 2 or even 4?!?..... I will stick with my 1 card and 2 monitors kthx.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By BitJunkie on 8/31/2007 9:15:42 AM , Rating: 2
a) I can run Bioshock at max settings and 1920X1200 on a single 8800 GTX (EVGA OC version)
b) The damned thing is HUGE not even sure I could get another in my atx case with all the optical drives in there.

If I get the performance I want with a single card in the gucci surroundings of Vista, why would I use lack of SLI support as an excuse to stay off the curve and be a late adopter?

Im a pioneer and my job is to boldly go where lesser geeks fear to tread because they are shackled by benchmarks...

Vista owns - anyone who states otherwise isn't being objective.

RE: Vista has gone Gold
By codeThug on 9/25/2007 9:06:13 PM , Rating: 1
kenobi- I would petition you to broaden your bashing statement to include the "pro Vista" crowd as well. There seems to be a fair bit of bashing happening on both sides.

I've seen too many posts from people sharing their first impressions and/or installation experience with Vista in a non flaming or bashing manner only to be flamed/bashed for being a MS hater or lacking technical in skills, and subsequently down modded to less than zero.

There are business reasons for not immediately adopting Vista as with earlier versions of Windows and it purely has to do with cost/benefit. Many companies, as well as home users, do not agree with the MS hype that the cost/benefit is enough to make the switch. At least until most of the issues have been vetted.

Please notice that no vitriol has been spewed regarding the product itself so far. You will find however, much dissatisfaction with Microsoft's "jam it down your throat, were cutting you off from XP" attitude towards this most recent release, and that is what (in my opinion) is fueling a good portion of the bash fest. Not the product itself.

Many of us are skeptical by nature and trade and have been burned by the Microsoft hype machine in the past. Indeed MS is not the only company to do this. Many IT professionals have foamed at the mouth due to similar experiences from IBM, SUN, and DEC.

*i'm missing the fun days of amd vs intel and CRAMITPAL

"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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