Windows

Is Windows Vista SP1 a big deal?


At this very moment, the OEM partners of Microsoft are busy creating new images of Windows Vista SP1 to be pre-installed in all new PC's. Microsoft has gone RTM (release to manufacturing) with Windows Vista SP1.  

Is it a big deal? Not really. A service pack doesn't pack the same punch anymore. Let me explain. In the stone ages, where Internet access wasn't prevalent, a service pack for let's say Window NT Server was a godsend. It had all the security fixes and enhancements rolled up together, and were necessary for new deployments. But today you no longer have to wait for a service pack to get the most important updates. With the Internet, you can download them and deploy them instantly (after testing of course). 

With Vista, you could actually roll out the new operating system without ever applying SP1 at this point in time. This is because almost all companies are connected to the Internet, and Microsoft has been delivering Vista bugs & security fixes for over a year. You are already getting the updates on a regular basis.   Additionally, you also get driver and software updates from Microsoft through its Automatic Windows Update services. Basically, as you continue to download updates, fixes, hardware & software, and driver updates, Vista is getting stronger, day-by-day, month-by-month. With Windows Vista SP1, Microsoft took feedback from the Customer Experience Improvement Program, online crash analysis, and Windows error reporting to really learn what the major issues are with Vista and the applications that run on the platform.

Here is a high level of what will be included in Windows Vista SP1:

  • With SP1, you will now be able to copy and move files on your PC, home network, and corporate network much faster than pre-SP1. According to Microsoft, you could see as much as 50% improvement.
  • A Windows Vista SP1 computer will awake faster from sleep mode than pre- SP1.
  • SP1 will rollup all bugs, security fixes, hot fixes, and anything else that was released via Windows Update.
  • SP1 includes support for emerging hardware and standards such as Wireless N, exFat files system, Secure Digital, DirectX 10.1, etc.
  • Microsoft will realign the service packs of Windows Vista with Windows Server 2008. In the future, service packs will be released for both
  • Vista and Server 2008 since they share the same kernel.
  • SP1 will contain BitLocker drive encryption support for non-system disks.
  • SP1 will contain improvements to local printing from Terminal Services.
  • SP1 adds support for x64 EFI network boot.
  • Disk Defragmenter has a user interface to choose which volume will be automatically defragmented.
  • SP1 adds support to enable new types of Windows Media Center Extenders, such as digital televisions and networked DVD players, to connect to Windows Media Center PCs.
  • SP1 adds support for creating a single DVD media that boots on PCs with either BIOS or EFI.
  • SP1 adds support for SD Advanced DMA (ADMA) on compliant SD standard host controllers. This new transfer mechanism, which is expected to be supported in SD controllers soon, will improve transfer performance and decrease CPU utilization.
  • SP1 adds support for Direct3D 10.1, an update to Direct3D 10 that extends the API to support new hardware features, enabling 3D application and game developers to make more complete and efficient use of the upcoming generations of graphics hardware.
  • SP1 adds support for new UEFI (unified extensible firmware interface) industry standard PC firmware for 64-bit systems with functional parity with legacy BIOS firmware, which allows Vista SP1 to install to GPT format disks, boot and resume from hibernate using UEFI firmware.
  • SP1 improves the time to read large images by approximately 50%.
  • SP1 improves the performance of browsing network file shares by consuming less bandwidth.

For a more detailed list, please download, Windows Vista SP guides. As far as deployment is concerned, when downloading and installing SP1, you will have three download methods. They are:  

  • Express
  • Standalone
  • Slipstream

The Express installation will require an Internet connection but minimizes the download size by sending only the changes needed for a specific computer. The standalone installation is about 1 GB in size and allows you to install Windows SP1 without an Internet connection. Finally, the Slipstream version will come with a new the operating system. You will be able to install Windows Vista on a new machine with SP1 already included.

19 comments
shepherd66
shepherd66

Did not see anything that will help with the Printing on a home network to a printer attached to an XP Pro machine...

akfaka
akfaka

1. Wipe your harddrive clean, then install Ubuntu 2. Buy a Mac

ericswain
ericswain

Although many of the bugs that kept Vista out of the workplace is being addressed one major one was not. Working with many different businesses and their network infrastructure I have found that VPN connections to older appliances were not working through Windows VPN connection interface in Vista. Simular to setting up a dial-in connection in XP you were able to set up a VPN connection via MSCHAPS v1.0, through Vista this connection method was not enabled. I had sent in many requests for this module to be placed in SP1 but unfortunatly my requests fell on deaf ears. So for those of you who are having issues connecting via VPN though Vista, SP1 isn't going to help correct this issue and you should see if there is another method of connecting via VPN or look at upgrading your appliance cause Vista SP1 isn't going to help with this connection.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

I found myself having to create a virtual machine running XP Pro just for VPN. Maybe Microsoft is missing the boat here, if they don't fix VPN in Vista they can still sell XP.

medbiller
medbiller

For the past week I've been trying to install a 5 yr old (XP clean) VB6 application in 2 Vista Business comps. When I run the app. it gets as far the splash screen & then hangs. Often clicking the splash screen causes the comp. to go into limbo mode (unresponsive) only to get back to life after 5-10 minutes. What a piece of crap this vista is! I could not fins SP1 anywhere in the web to download it just to try. There you go again Microsoft...

toddah
toddah

I guess I am kind of confused, Why is it that your VB6 applications, developed under XP, that now are having problems running under a completely redesigned computing kernel a Vista issue? Is this not an application based issue? If I remember correctly there were many many warnings about backward compatibility with applications. I have been running Vista ultimate since it's release and yes it has it's warts but all in all after I weeded the application programming issues out the OS is very solid and runs most software that follows the MS best practices. Most of the things I had issues with were quickly resolved by the vendor thus leading me to believe many vendors were taking a wait and see what breaks attitude. sounds like your app is "broken" and in need of a tuneup. Thank goodness you are a developer and can rework your own code to fix this issue and you are not at the mercy of some vendor to fix it for you.

medbiller
medbiller

"The Visual Basic team is committed to ?It Just Works? compatibility for Visual Basic 6.0 applications on Windows? Vista? and Windows? Server 2008 ?." This is copyied from http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vbrun/ms788708.aspx If you keep reading this page you will see the following phrase ..."The Visual Basic team?s goal is that Visual Basic 6.0 applications that run on Windows XP will also run on Windows Vista"... What this means to me is that an app running in XP without a hitch for 5 years should run in Vista without any modifications. The funny thing is that this application runs in a third Vista machine (sorry, cannot remember the version) in a stand alone mode. That is, not connected in a network. The 2 machines I'm complainning about are clients in a work group with an XP machine as the server. When the app fires, it presents a splash screen with the customer name and serial number. This is being read from the SQLEXPRESS(2005) in the server(XP machine). Then it hangs. Placing breakpoints inside the code shows that at a certain instruction (Unload Me, which is the only way to clear the splash form just displayed so as to continue with the next screen) just hangs! As far as MS best practices in regards to Vista and VB6, there are non (taht I know of). You hurt my feelings when you say our app is broken. Good thing we are p-ed off with Microsoft and not with you. (Just kidding). Thank you for you replay.

Nice Techie
Nice Techie

Someone has finally come out and said besides me. SP1 for VISTA is NO BIG DEAL. All I seem to be reading these days about the service pack is how much work it is going to cause. We are all techs in some way, shape, or form. This is what we do, what we live for, otherwise, we would all run Unix or Linux

techrep
techrep

For those of us, who haven't touched vista yet... I think it is a big deal. So big that I installed both vista & sp1 on Sunday and after running yamicsoft's Vista Manager. So far no issues and I'm liking what i see. Sp1 install time was only 35mins on 2.0ghz Core 2 Duo w/ 2GB Ram. I think thats bearable. Also checkout Vista Shootout: Hotfixes Vs. SP1 @ extremetech.com - pretty good article.

nwoodson
nwoodson

....and that's such a bad idea why?

Nice Techie
Nice Techie

I never said it was a bad idea, but since the populace has "embraced" (and I use that term loosely" the world of Microsoft OS's on our computers then we shouldn't freak out every time there is an update. Now I don't know Unix or Linux all too well, and if I was forced to convert, then I would. I have heard nothing but good things about Linux/Unix, so I am not against it, I am behind it. Imagine, a world without monthly patch testing and installations...what would we do?

nwoodson
nwoodson

I find humor in that. I use a few different linux distros on my home network, but I'm stuck with MS at work. Don't get confused....we have our share of patches, updates and the like. They just don't nag, stop the machine or otherwise prevent work from getting done. Additionally, we don't have the nightmare of having an oppressive corporate 'key-keeper'. The system, at enerprise level, just takes a little more planning....but my pet peave, non-techie managers, interfere and buy the FUD. So I guess we'll deal with patch Tuesday, functionality limits and all of the other crap.....because it's convenient.

Steven Warren
Steven Warren

I meant driver. Thanks for keeping me on my toes. If we got hardware updates from Microsoft, we would be in some trouble lol.

john.decoville
john.decoville

We have had experiences where our admins "Threw" fixes too quickly onto our networks without proper checking ("vetting" lol). I saw every server, including the RS6000, the AS/400s crash or become orphaned and therefore worthless. Those experiences were no laughing matter. So every hot-fix, roll-out, upgrade is tested Cheers!

The Listed 'G MAN'
The Listed 'G MAN'

Quote "get hardware and software updates from Microsoft through its Automatic Windows Update services" WOW - You get Hardware updates?

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

You only get the hardware updates if Windows can find your credit card information. :D

vindasel
vindasel

I look forward to improved network file copy speeds, since that seems to be the only major problem currently on my VHP NEC laptop. I hope MS does not *break* anything with SP1 since (keeping fingers crossed) currently everything works as it should after playing around with a few settings.Even startup from sleep (not hibernation) is very fast on my machine...I don't know if its Intel Turbo Memory has anything to do with it though. The small improvement to the defragger is welcome, but still too little too late. They need to revamp it completely for it to be any good. Anyway, I installed Diskeeper pro 2k8 on the laptop and it does a great job where Vista's defragger could not. Better control and performance, and a nice GUI.