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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 (blog) 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 (blog) 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 (blog) 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.


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