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TechNet Users Revolt Over Vista SP1 Unavailability 203

Posted by kdawson
from the core-available-but-not-to-you dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "There's a growing revolt among Microsoft TechNet & MSDN subscribers who are frustrated that they can't yet get Vista SP1 and test their software on it. This can't be good news for anyone hoping that SP1 will have better compatibility. While SP1 has been released to manufacturing, and pirate copies are easy to find, Microsoft is withholding it from subscribers until early March. According to the article, some frustrated users are upset enough that they plan to abandon TechNet entirely and turn to piracy." Update: 02/12 17:37 GMT by KD : Sean0michael writes, "Aaccording to the Technet blog, they have pushed up the date to before the end of February, though no exact date is mentioned."
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TechNet Users Revolt Over Vista SP1 Unavailability

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:09PM (#22386378)

    How is Microsoft abusing its users still news?

  • PROTIP (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jrronimo (978486) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:09PM (#22386380)
    I don't know if I'm just special or not, but if you go to Connect(.microsoft.com) and download the enabler for Service Pack 1 Refresh 2 and, well, enable it, you can get Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RTM. Microsoft has confirmed (I am pretty sure) that Refresh 2 == RTM: http://www.mydigitallife.info/2008/02/07/microsoft-confirms-vista-sp1-rc-refresh-2-rcr2-is-rtm-release/ [mydigitallife.info].

    I'm not even a technet subscriber or anything... just a beta tester. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by auzy (680819)
      Microsoft has not confirmed I think. Mary Jo Foley Confirmed, and shes barely creditable..

      If you don't believe me, check her write up on WWDC. http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=505 [zdnet.com] , in which case, she obviously never researched the features properly, and obviously didn't bother to research them, even while doing a follow-up on it, because the forums were full..

      I think she just spoke to some guy at Microsoft, they said "yeah, its pretty much the same", and she goes "yeah, they are the same, they just chan
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheNetAvenger (624455)
      Connect(.microsoft.com) and download the enabler for Service Pack 1 Refresh 2 and

      Actually connect has the RTM downloads for SP1, the WU enabler and even the ISOs and distribution packages.

      So whether anything changed from Refresh 2 doesn't matter, as the RTM is available.
  • It's obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alexx K (1167919) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:10PM (#22386396)
    MS doesn't want people giving SP1 bad reviews before it is released to the general public. That would damage Vista's reputation even more, and Microsoft most certainly doesn't want that.
    • Eh? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by gnutoo (1154137) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:49PM (#22386814) Journal

      The bad reviews are already out so what is left to gain? Distributing SP1 to developers will confirm the reviews but they are the type that has read about it anyway. Keeping it will not prove the reviews wrong but it will irritate developers who expect things to be bad and expect that much more work before the public gets it.

      • Hmm? Much of the reviews come from sources that are paid by MS or have strong ties to MS and hesitate to say bad reviews of it, so yes it would be damage control for Vista. Even though it is an old story remember that MS was handing out laptops for favorable reviews of Vista http://slashdot.org/articles/06/12/27/1423234.shtml [slashdot.org] and It wouldn't surprise me if the reason they are trying to keep Vista SP1 away from the customer is for favorable press because when Joe MS-User sees that SP1 is coming out they migh
    • by jtdennis (77869)
      The press already has review copies of SP1. This is the people in the trenches that need to test it before deploying it.
  • Are there more Vista developers than there are Vista users?

    Cue demented inner dialog for Softies:


    "Precious Software, Precious, Must HAVE!!!!"
    "Master is bad for not letting me have. Must STEAL, must KILL!!!!"
    "No, Master is gooooD. Master is looking out for pitiful consumers and me."
    "But Precious, must have the PRECIOUS!!!"

    and so on and so forth without clarity, self help or sense of reality.

  • Bah (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ushering05401 (1086795) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:12PM (#22386418) Journal
    My company is most likely in our last year of MSDN participation, but it has nothing to do with SP1.

    The relationship between devs and MS has been deteriorating for some time. Off the top of my head I might point to the closing off of the IE development team from communication w/independents that occurred some time ago.

    I am too jaded to sit here and detail all the problems that have been developing, so I will leave that to others. Needless to say it took quite some time before my partners were willing to consider looking away from MS as they have been developing with the Windows product line since 3.1.
  • by Phantom Gremlin (161961) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:17PM (#22386466)
    MSDN subscribers, please remember that MSFT really cares about you:

    developers, developers, developers,
    developers, developers, developers,
    developers, developers, developers, ...

    I love this company!

    Steve
    • and at the big sales meeting...
      sales, sales, sales,
      sales, sales, sales,
      sales, sales, sales,
      sales, sales, sales, ...

      now it is probably:
      SP1, SP1, SP1,
      SP1, SP1, SP1,
      SP1, SP1, SP1,
      SP1, SP1, SP1,

      Gotta give it Ballmer, he sure understands innovation.
    • MSDN subscribers, please remember that MSFT really cares about you:

      developers, developers, developers,
      developers, developers, developers,
      developers, developers, developers, ...

      I love this company!
      YEEEARGH!
  • There is no story too trivial or misleading about Microsoft and Vista that won't make it to the front page of Slashdot.

    Last Friday, the company released Vista SP1 for download by both individuals and companies who previously beta tested the service pack. This week, the company went further. "At the end of this week we will be making the English version of Windows Vista SP1 available to volume licensing customers ... Other languages will follow soon ... [and] later this month, SP1 will be available to MSDN

    • by Yaur (1069446) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:58PM (#22386900)
      The point of developers getting it first (through MSDN) is to make sure that any compatibility problems get resolved before your customers, who could very well be volume buyers, upgrade their systems. The article you cite seems to confirm that what developers are complaining about is in fact happening.
      • by westlake (615356)
        The point of developers getting it first (through MSDN) is to make sure that any compatibility problems get resolved before your customers, who could very well be volume buyers, upgrade their systems.

        There were 15,000 beta testers for SP1.

        The release candidate became available to anyone in mid-January. Microsoft Opens Vista SP1 Beta to All Testers [technewsworld.com]

        If you haven't been working with the beta, tell me why it doesn't make sense to wait a week or two until driver problems are resolved in the RTM?

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770)
      There always can be incompatibility problems. So you release it in the order of people who are most able to find and deal with those. The people who did beta testing should have no problem. If they were willing to run beta code, they are willing to deal with what comes with it. Volume customers are a next logical step. They presumably manage their updates and have a competent systems person so they can test and decide if a rollout is appropriate or if they need to wait for drivers/software to by updated. Th
      • by jo42 (227475)

        succeeding
        In the Microsoft Universe the use of "succeeding" means removing previous good products from sale and shoving dubious "new" products down everybody's throats. See Vista vs. XP and Office 2007 vs. Office 2003.
      • by NMerriam (15122)

        There always can be incompatibility problems. So you release it in the order of people who are most able to find and deal with those.

        Well, yes, isn't that the whole point of this article and the upset? Developers of software are the only ones able to test and fix their software. It's useless for beta testers and Volume License customers to report bugs to a developer if he doesn't have access to the same OS version for another two weeks.

        The idea of providing a final OS release to some customers before your

    • by Spikeles (972972)
      Still.. how is it, review sites were able to get the full version of SP1 before technet subscribers? As mentioned in the original story, some subscribers pay thousands of dollars to be members of MSDN and TechNet and yet Computerworld reviewers got it first?. Problems with drivers? I thought the whole point of getting it out to the TechNet community was so they could test this and make up workaround for when they decide to deploy it, i also hazard a guess that they are fully capable of working around such i
      • If the problem is drivers, dollars to doughnuts the problem is either with a company whose name starts with "n" and ends with "Vidia" or
        another major video chipset manufacturer that was recently purchased by AMD. In neither case do I think their only access to Vista is
        through "TechNet".
      • TechNet is actually pretty inexpensive, running me $350 per year. For that, I get quick (and usually early) access to most non-development software, some decent archives, and ten licenses for each. I can experiment to my heart's content without having to shell out tens of thousands in licensing fees or pirating the software, so long as I don't use the licenses for production environments.

        The drivers that are causing problems with SP1 are mostly with the installers. I thought I saw something recently that
    • by rijrunner (263757) on Monday February 11, 2008 @11:37PM (#22387750)
      If you look at the timing of the original article, you'll find that it was posted on Friday. Basically, Microsoft caved in to pressure from that base. It was not something that was planned and the article is correct about the details when it was written. The link you provided is pointing to a timeframe after the first article was written.

      Microsoft did not plan on releasing SP1 early to technet. The debate is accurately described and attributed. Microsoft's stance as described in the article is also accurate as of the time the article was written and posted. That Microsoft later reversed its position is something to be noted, but it is not "trivial or misleading" to post an *accurate* rundown of the argument which led to Microsoft's reversal. (Which had not even happened at the time the article was written).

      Unless you can show that Microsoft had planned on an early release for this base, I think you might want to rethink your position. It was articles like the Computerworld article which led to the release, not any policy decision by Microsoft before there was a lot of backlash.

      Here is the official announcement on the board that started the whole thing:

      http://blogs.technet.com/technetplussubscriptions/archive/2008/02/04/technet-plus-sp1-availability-plan-of-record.aspx [technet.com]

      "Now that we've made Windows Server 2008 available to all TechNet Plus subscribers there is a firestorm of questions about when will SP1 also be available for subscribers.

      The current plan is that it will be available in mid-March, if that changes I'll let you know. In the meantime, please check out Mike Nash's blog post to learn more about SP1 and the timing of the availability.

      Have Feedback? Leave a comment - I looking forward to hearing from you.

      Thanks,

      Kathy Dixon

      TechNet Plus subscriptions"

      It was not until the 11th - today - that a new policy was mentioned. Your own counterargument is based on a post made this morning - several days after the article you say is misleading was posted. How was the Computerworld article misleading? It was 100% accurate when written and anyone can follow the link provided in the article and verify that. How could they know that Microsoft was going to change their policy? It was a stupid policy and led to a backlash and that was the story. The story is now that Microsoft needed to be pressured to do what they should have done in the first place.

  • Business plan (Score:2, Insightful)

    Business plan:
    1. Make a new version that developers will have to support.
    2. Send factory-cracked copies to all the pirates.
    3. Wait for developers to resort to using the pirated copies.
    4. Sue them!
    5. Profit!
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Monday February 11, 2008 @09:59PM (#22386914) Journal
    SP1 caused numerous stability problems on my laptop and I prefer to skip this service pack. The drivers do not like the changes and yes they are compatibility problems. sp1 is not a magic bullet to fix Vista's i/o problems either unfortunately.

    • by SirKron (112214)
      Then you are the exception. Even when I was running RC1 of SP1 I had tremendous speed increases due to the removal of Vista looking for a domain controller everytime you open a window. I am running RTM SP1 now. How you ask? I made some reg key changes and installed it from Windows Update. From my experience with SP1 on Thinkpad laptops I have YET to see any issues and only great gains.
  • hehe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by evil9000 (72113)
    I'm greatly amused by this.

    Another example of Microsoft Genuine Advantage in action.

    Remember, pirate software and get the latest support now, pay through the nose and get what you want much much later...
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday February 11, 2008 @10:23PM (#22387144) Journal
    Maybe this is just a biased view(I certainly haven't seen it all); but it seems like the techies responsible for field work on MS stuff just have more pain and less fun than the *nix techies do. These guys are drinking, and paying for, the kool-aid and they can't even get a RTM copy ahead of the press flacks and pirates. Over in *nix land, you can play with pre-alpha or later any time you want. These are the people who advocate for, plan, install, and support MS's stuff on the corporate level. They are the people whose fairly cheap labor helps prop up all the TCO "get the facts" and MS won't even give them the release in time to help them do their jobs. This is not exactly "catch the devs on IRC channel foo on bar.org" territory.

    I can understand why MS plays hard and mean on licensing, format lock-in, and the like. That is just good(if unpleasant) business. I don't understand this, though. It would cost them basically nothing to throw the people who eat their shit 9 to 5 a bone. And they don't. Why?
    • by ricegf (1059658) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @12:48AM (#22388272) Journal

      If I had a mod point handy, I'd happily toss it your way. Reading your post, I had a sudden insight into why I went from a Microsoft enthusiast (back when Microsoft seemed anxious for me to use their stuff) to a Microsoft "highly unenthusiast" (now that they treat me like dirt, or worse).

      Using Microsoft products just isn't fun anymore. It's like living in Apple's "1984" commercial, but without the girl. Using FOSS is still very much fun. It's like living in a GoDaddy commercial, but without the Fox censors.

      Thanks, you're cheaper than a shrink. :-)

  • by link5280 (1141253) *
    Patience grasshopper!
  • Using Microsoft software has always been somewhat of an abusive relationship, we're all used to that.

    However, this time around with Vista, it just seems like they just don't give a shit anymore. Really slow, incompatible stuff this time. They've always been really good about backwards compatibility (Sure we can all find half a million examples of stuff that didn't work with each new OS release), but this time I just look at the whole thing with a boggled "What are they doing and why?" expression.

    And now thi
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by grumling (94709)
      It may be because most of the company was hired right out of college and has never worked for anyone else.

      There isn't any incentive to work crazy hours, or to do anything cutting edge, since there's no stock options that will go through the roof anymore.

      As I understand it, MS managers are promoted from within (a good thing IF they get a lot of manager training), and this means they are managing people who's job they used to do, only "much better." If they didn't get good management training, and never worke
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DigiShaman (671371)
      Politics, it's as simple as that.

      My guess someone (or group) had enough "pull" in the organization to take over the Vista project management. In the end, you had a bunch of suits making all sorts of requests that were leading the original development path down a wrong way. Let's face it; Microsoft has all the money in the world to higher some of the best minds around. Same goes for Google. I simple can't imagine the problems with Vista was a technical issue to start with.

      Anyone else notice how quite things
    • by Allador (537449)
      Okay, Im a bit confused here.

      You (or your employer) pays for an MSDN subscription for you, but you buy your computers at BestBuy?

      That cant be right. No one who has a need for an MSDN subscription would be naive enough to buy their computers from a retail store. Thats basically a suckers game, and anyone who's been doing work in technology has known that. Only uninformed consumers buy the low-end consumer-level crap that is sold at BestBuy and similar. Thats like buying a $50 inkjet/bubblejet printer bec
  • XP SP3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Monday February 11, 2008 @11:07PM (#22387506)
    I'm frustrated that XP SP3 hasn't been released yet. That's what we really need.
  • by Cytlid (95255)
    Technet is revolting? Hell, I coulda told you that!
  • by Captain Original (922169) on Monday February 11, 2008 @11:49PM (#22387852)
    You know, I generally enjoy /. However, every so often one of these stories comes up (it seems to be more frequently these days) that is just complete bullshit (Disclosure: I've been an MSDN subscriber for years). I don't know anyone who is complaining about SP availability. There will always be some who complain, but that's more than likely a very small minority. For those testing compatibility, the betas and RCs have been out for quite a while for the sole purpose of testing applications. I haven't worked with them personally, but a conservative guess would be 95% of functionality can be testing on the RCs. What gets me though is that over the weekend a much more impactful event occurred: the Windows 2008 RTM. Not only that, but Windows 2008 IS available on MSDN (all English flavors at least, and most likely TechNet as well, but I don't know for sure). Windows 2008 is a much more important release than SP 1, but, alas, that gets no coverage on /.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Element119 (1237726)
      you think "Windows 2008 is a much more important release than SP 1, but, alas, that gets no coverage on /." i disagree, MS has a problem right now with the public perception of vista. SP1, if brought to the public correctly could turn that around. Anouncing a release of a product as gold and then holding it back while torrents spread the software of the same name but of unknown purity out to the world is not a good plan. MS needs SP1 to change the public perception of vista. also many companies wait for ser
  • by LoadWB (592248) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @01:29AM (#22388546) Journal
    In the Action Pack, we only received Vista Business, but we could upgrade it to Ultimate for $150.

    Now to obtain (or retain) the Action Pack you have to take online assessments. I have had my Action Pack for several years now, and I felt rather insulted.

    You see, Microsoft is fighting terror^H^H^H^H^H^H piracy by forcing these assessments on Action Pack subscribers. This move is intended to "keep the Action Pack out of the hands of people who shouldn't have it." In other words, people who pay $300 per year and let their friends use five licenses of Office and Windows XP. But what Microsoft does not understand is that making MAPS more difficult to obtain just increases the likelihood that the software will be pirated.

    I am really too busy installing its software in Virtual PC or on a real workstation, testing, and learning how to use the software so I can sell to and support my customers. Too busy to read all the marketing horse shit they shove down my throat. Let me tell you how sick and damned tired I was of reading their Truth About Linux (or whatever the hell it was called) materials. I was done with that after the first brochure.

    But overall, Microsoft is just pushing us away: the system builders, the techs, the developers. We all slaved away to get Microsoft where it is today, and it needs us no more.

    Wanna hear something really stupid? How about that a system builder is not allowed to give a customer a copy of the OEM installation CD of Office 2007. Nope. We are supposed to provide the customer with a way of restoring the installation. Microsoft's recommendation: Ghost, or something similar. What? So if my customer's Office 2007 installation blows up and has to be reinstalled, they get to lose ALL of their data in favor of a Ghost restore.

    More hoops. Maybe this is what they want all along, but with the exception of Windows XP and Vista, I no longer sell OEM software with my machines. Server 2003? Retail. Office 2007? Retail. Why? Because it is less of a heartache and wallet-ache when the times comes.

    Need to upgrade your server hardware? Copy the installation to a new machine? Bzzzt! Nope, technically the SBS 2003 install and 75 CALs are locked to the original hardware.

    Bought Office 2003 Basic Edition and want to upgrade to Professional? Just install the Professional upgrade? Bzzzt! Sorry, this just isn't your day. Basic Edition, as an OEM only edition, does not qualify for the upgrade to Office Professional. However, every version of Office back to 95, even the Works Suites, DO qualify.

    Wowsers. Really, Microsoft does not need us anymore. Really. If I wanted to screw your sister I would become your best pal. But now I am screwing your sister I no longer need you as a friend, so piss off.
  • According to the article, some frustrated users are upset enough that they plan to abandon TechNet entirely and turn to piracy.

    There's two types of people, pirates & non-pirates.
    Non-pirates are the ones who look at March as the date they need to plan for, & they work around that.

    Just because someone is a subscriber doesn't mean they're not also a pirate.
  • by freitasm (444970) * on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:19AM (#22388824) Homepage
    Interesting that this post showed up on /. after Microsoft news that Windows Vista SP1 is now avaialble to beta testers, volume license users and will be available mid-February to MSDN and Technet subscribers. More information here [geekzone.co.nz].

    FUD.
  • by llzackll (68018) on Tuesday February 12, 2008 @02:36AM (#22388908)
    Looks like microsoft changed their mind after all the feedback:

    http://windowsvistablog.com/blogs/windowsvista/archive/2008/02/11/windows-vista-sp1-availability-for-technical-customers.aspx [windowsvistablog.com]
  • Daring ploy on MS part now that the competition is getting to be just as good or better than MS.

    any brand of *nix doesn't give you MS nagware head aches and Blue screen of death that bring the system to halt.

    Nothing like DRM, bad drivers because MS updated something the driver relied on, Bad OS components that purposely disable features in others software make the competitions software dysfunctional (Like the open office on vista using the CONVERT function fails if you downloaded the version with java in it
  • I am using Sp1 RC2 which Microsoft says is identical to the released version. I can say that I am *still* seeing BSOD, especially after returning from hibernate or sleep. This was one of the most aggravating issues with Vista and we *never* got an explanation of why this was broken or what they did to fix it. Perhaps we didn't get the "fix" explanation because they haven't.

    It is hard to know, because according to MS there are "driver" issues, and the BSOD I see is related to drivers (driver_power_state_f

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