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Windows Operating Systems Software Upgrades

Vista Service Pack 1 Is Out 383

superglaze writes "What's to say? After much prevaricating and slipping out then pulling back, the first service pack for Windows Vista has actually been released. It's available for download now via Microsoft's sites, with an auto-update rollout scheduled for next month, and it should hit Amazon's virtual shelves on Wednesday."
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Vista Service Pack 1 Is Out

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  • by StefanJ ( 88986 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @02:52PM (#22786280) Homepage Journal
    . . . and now he's mad.

    Um. Seriously. I'm glad there's a service pack out. But I'm going to wait a few weeks and see if it causes USB drives to melt, or sends your life history to the Ministry of Total Information Awareness.
  • hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by drik00 ( 526104 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @02:53PM (#22786292) Homepage
    I have a very bad feeling about this.


    I feel a great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. ...its a toss up.
    • by mh1997 ( 1065630 )

      I have a very bad feeling about this.
      Good, software updates from any company have a tendency to cause new problems.
    • "This is bad. Very bad!"

      "Let Microsoft inflict a bug-ridden patch on us? I don't *think* so!"
  • by More_Cowbell ( 957742 ) * on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @02:53PM (#22786294) Journal
    Seriously, I have it downloaded already but I don't want to install until a prudent amount of time has passed. I am one of those that would prefer to let the brave early adopters report any serious flaws. Given that this is one of the more anticipated updates, will the time I need to wait be reduced as many rush to install?

    A day? A week? Two?

    Keeping in mind my only reason to install is annoyance with current Vista performance; I have no critical reason to update.

    • by snl2587 ( 1177409 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @02:55PM (#22786328)
      I would wait at least a month to make sure any major holes weren't opened up or major compatibility issues introduced. That should probably be enough.
    • by gQuigs ( 913879 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:03PM (#22786448) Homepage
      Wait until DNF is released.
      • Thanks, but won't we all be running our holographic computers while riding in our flying cars before Duke Nukem Forever is released?
      • DNF (Score:5, Funny)

        by Per Abrahamsen ( 1397 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @04:32PM (#22787598) Homepage

        Wait until DNF is released.
        My first mental "expansion" of DNF was the term used in result listings in athletics when a runner abandon the race: "Did Not Finish".

        On second thought, from context it seems that you meant Duke-Nuke'em Forever.

        Then again, maybe the two meanings of DNF aren't that different.

    • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:06PM (#22786494)
      Wait until it shows up in auto-update in a month would be my advice. That should give plenty of time for the tech rags to post glowing reviews of how it revolutionizes computing, solves world hunger, and cures male pattern baldness. Likewise, it will give Slashdot plenty of time to report that it makes computers crash, steals peoples' wallets, has sex with their dogs, and sets their house on fire.

      You know, the usual Microsoft software update cycle.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dg5 ( 442714 )
      Torch it and throw it into rubbish along with Vista. Any OS that needs 2GB of RAM to run (slowly) is not worth a penny.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nmg196 ( 184961 ) *
        It doesn't need 2GB of RAM. It runs fine with 1GB of RAM. People who don't know how Vista works simply assume it needs 2GB because they notice that if you give it 2GB it uses it all. They fail to notice that if you give it 4GB it also uses it all. For some reason, people put lots of RAM in their computer and then hope that all the new RAM will remain free. Vista chooses to use it to speed up your system (mainly by caching). If you have a problem with that, use a less clever OS like Windows XP.
    • by cyclocommuter ( 762131 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:27PM (#22786756)

      If your reason for installing is only for performance, Vista SP1 will probably disappoint you. On the other hand I have installed it on 2 laptops and one desktop and the only problem I had was with an HP Printer driver that stopped working. All I had to do was to go to Control Panel, remove the printer, then add the printer back again and that fixed the problem.

      Honestly, I did not find any major improvement performance-wise nor stability-wise as my machines were already running relatively smoothly pre-SP1. There appears to be minor improvements in boot times, shutdown times (though I do this maybe once a week per PC/laptop on average); plus getting in and out of sleep, especially for the laptops, appears to go smoother.

      • ...getting in and out of sleep, especially for the laptops, appears to go smoother.
        I have a brand new laptop and waking it from sleep is one of my biggest complaints. Certain things sometimes need manual intervention to wake up. Like my wireless network. This tends to get annoying.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DaveWick79 ( 939388 )
      I know /.'ers like to discount MS's beta process as a bunch of rubbish. But the beta process is there to eliminate the brave earlier adopter problems at actual launch time. And traditionally it has worked.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Yeah, just like with that prerequisite patch for Vista SP1, which - hold on, I need to reboot, Vista just installed an update.

        OK, like that prerequisite patch for Vista SP1 that - hold on, Vista found a new update and is installing it.

        Anyway, like that prerequisite patch for Vista SP1 that - wait, it needs to reboot again.

        Right, like that prerequisite patch for Vista SP1 that - hold on, Vista found a new update and is installing it.

        As I was saying, like that prerequisite patch for Vista SP1 that - wait, it
      • by AJWM ( 19027 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @04:00PM (#22787200) Homepage
        But the beta process is there to eliminate the brave earlier adopter problems

        No, see, that's what an alpha release is for. Beta releases are supposed to be damned near final, what in these days of release grade inflation is now called a "release candidate". This is why "/.'ers like to discount MS's beta process as a bunch of rubbish"; because for those of us that remember, it is.

        "And traditionally it has worked as an alpha process"

        There, fixed that for you.
        • Well, when you build applications or OSes that a huge majority of the world uses, let us know what your development cycle is like, and we'll judge whether or not it's better than MS'.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by kpainter ( 901021 )
      I just installed SP1. It is GREAT! File transfers are almost instantaneous. Better yet, it seems very sta
    • by BigBlueOx ( 1201587 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @05:45PM (#22788538)
      Ya know, just a few years ago it was such a pain in the tukas to deal with Linux upgrades ... dependency hell ... "why can't Linux installs just *work* like my Windows installs do?". That wasn't that long ago, ya know.

      Now it's just the opposite. Installing Microsoft stuff is such a royal pain in the bazonga compared to Linux that I just stopped dealing with it. I'm sick of worrying about what "patches" and "service packs" I've applied and which I haven't, what impossible-to-remember-URL I'm supposed to go to for the patches, whether this service pack breaks this while it fixes that ... forget it!

  • Poor Vista. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Missing_dc ( 1074809 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @02:53PM (#22786304)
    "After much prevaricating and slipping out then pulling back, the first service pack for Windows Vista....."

    sounds like an awful lover.
  • adoption rate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AdamReyher ( 862525 ) * <adam.pylonhosting@com> on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @02:54PM (#22786314) Homepage
    I'm more interested to see how this affects the adoption rate ... or doesn't. It's been said businesses have been waiting for SP1 to make the move. The question is: was that all just talk or is it going to actually happen?
    • If the airspeed of an unladen african swallow is x and the service pack Vista is on is y and z equals the chance that pigs will fly then the chance that our company will ever use Vista can be represented as xyz. In other words we will use Vista... Never!
    • Re:adoption rate (Score:4, Interesting)

      by handsomepete ( 561396 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @04:00PM (#22787206) Journal
      For the company I work at the issue is hardware - while some of our PCs would probably run Vista somewhat ok a lot of them won't and we can't really afford to either a.) increase support costs by having a constant stream of "slow PC" calls or b.) do a complete desktop refresh in less than 2 years. If there was some sort of tangible advantage we'd probably try to find the budget, but no one has pointed one out to us yet. So we'll either ride XP to the end of its days (or to Windows 7, whichever comes first).

      Like a lot of companies we've talked about switching over to an alternative OS, but having the usual triad of Microsoft entrenchment (Exchange + Office + AD) makes that an unnerving undertaking for our size.
  • by og_sh0x ( 520297 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @02:55PM (#22786324) Homepage
    I use Vista at work because I'm going to need to know it eventually. Microsoft probably won't offer XP forever. Among many other problems that I eventually fixed before the service pack, I had a problem with my sound not working so I installed Service Pack 1. It fixed the sound problem, then broke my network adapter. After removing the service pack, the network came back but the sound broke again. And it's over an hour to install and another hour to uninstall.
  • by stevedcc ( 1000313 ) * on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @02:57PM (#22786346)

    I tried the (two) public betas on my Vista Ultimate 64 partition. They all failed to install at 19%. I reported it on the forums, tried to send my logs to an email address they said they'd set up, and even identified which file was supposedly "corrupt" (the one it was installing actually).

    For my trouble, I've been ignored, and I'm now going to have to reinstall the ENTIRE OS because some small part of it is supposedly corrupt (systems works fine) and they won't let me just fix that. Lovely. My Ubuntu install is so much better, I wish I didn't need the vista one.

  • by Coopjust ( 872796 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @02:57PM (#22786358)
    I grabbed the X64 update from Microsoft's OEM website a few weeks ago.

    First off, SP1 is a massive improvement. It installs a lot of bugfixes (including ones not released publicly before)... and it improves other stuff quite a bit. Disk performance is much better- you could argue that copy and paste tasks should not be slowed down by the speed of the OS, but it's improvement.

    Overall, my Vista install rarely runs into errors- maybe one or two non-system apps are hanging a week. UAC got less annoying (it wasn't that bad to begin with).

    It took an hour to install on my PC, and I didn't run into any issues. I think it helps Vista a lot. Honestly, I prefer Vista on newer machines; it's RAM heavy requiring 2GB+ to run well but RAM is very cheap nowadays and the x64 version works quite well; I had no driver issues personally.

    (I still recommend backing up though. I always back up before a major update, whether it's XP, Vista, OS X or Ubuntu).
    • by ddrichardson ( 869910 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:34PM (#22786854) Homepage

      requiring 2GB+ to run well

      No matter how many times I see this it blows me away. This isn't an anti Microsoft bash - this is a serious efficiency issue - we have gone from a suggested 8Mb for WFWG 3.11 (1992/93 UK) to 2Gb in a generation. That's a massive jump considering that most users are still muddling about with a web browser and a word processor. I know that processor speeds etc have also increased exponentially but I can't help this nagging feeling that it's down to lazy coding.

      • There's more than one generation between 3.11 and Vista. I'm not really defending Microsoft, I think the requirements for Vista are outrageous, but intellectual dishonesty doesn't really serve anyone.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          I don't believe the parent was talking about a technological generation, but rather a genealogical one. Those are 20yrs, so in fact, in LESS than a generation we have gone from 8MB to 2GB.
      • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:47PM (#22787038)
        I must agree with you there. I once browsed the web and checked my email (with GUI programs), as well as viewed videos (from a CD encyclopedia) on a 486 75Mhz machine with an 80Mb hard drive an 6Mb of RAM.

        My new computer has a processor 48x faster (just by a megahertz comparison - I'm sure it's actually even faster in the real world), has 341x the RAM, and has roughly 13,107x the hard drive space.

        What does the average public use their machines for these days? Browsing the web and checking email. Why is it that our hardware is now orders of magnitude faster in theory but still does the same basic stuff? I can understand some things taking the extra power. Video compression, 3d gaming, compiling source code, etc, should all take a lot of horsepower, but the most basic computer tasks shouldn't take the resources they do. Glancing at task manager on this machine here at work Firefox is currently using 157MB of RAM. Like I said, I once browsed the web on a machine with 6MB total memory.
      • but I can't help this nagging feeling that it's down to lazy coding.
        I agree. One item to consider is whether word processing has changed so much in the last 10 years that we now need over 5 times the processor speed, 16 times as much memory, and 10 times as much drive space.
      • by moderatorrater ( 1095745 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @04:27PM (#22787526)
        While in theory a lot of what you say is true, look at what's happened in that generation. We've gone from no spell checker to an integrated spell checker you run when you're done to automatic spell checking with auto complete and auto correct all done in real time. The same for the grammer checker and a url/email address parser. Browsers now use not only html, but css and heavy javascript. Firefox now has the ability to use plugins and tabs.

        The problem isn't bad coding, it's that features are inherently slow. To implement real time spell checking requires a lot of processing power, especially if you can type over 5 characters a second. Think about that for a minute. Remember how long spell checking used to take as it went through the document? It used to take 5-10 minutes for a medium sized paper when I was in HS. Now it can spell check the word that I'm typing multiple times per second and get through the document in around 5 seconds while still bundling in more real time functionality.

        I remember when a medium quality video on a computer doing nothing else would have long pauses and not be able to play smoothly. Now I can play music while watching a youtube video through a program running inside my browser with no pauses whatsoever, and that's while streaming it online (which also takes processor power). I can watch youtube videos while playing an intensive game on year old hardware with two monitors running through the video card; that's something I couldn't even dream about a few years ago.

        The reason that programs appear slow is because they add features that are more processor intensive than they appear to the naked eye. Plugins are extremely inefficient. Real-time spell checking requires looking up in a dictionary multiple times per second with a lot of wasted effort. Going from 800x600 to 1260x1024 is nearly doubling the number of pixels. CSS is very processor intensive. Features have been pushed on so many fronts it's mind boggling.
      • No matter how many times I see this it blows me away. This isn't an anti Microsoft bash - this is a serious efficiency issue - we have gone from a suggested 8Mb for WFWG 3.11 (1992/93 UK) to 2Gb in a generation.

        Tell me why it ia inefficient to make the maximum use of RAM when RAM is cheap.

      • Why not think of it this way, 8mb of ram(92) was 300 or 400 hundred dollars. Currently 2GB of ram is 30$. Sounds like an improvement to me.
      • I agree. But 8M in 93 was +400$. I just bought 4G of RAM that is about 20x faster for 109$ (not a deal...) I dont really care about numbers as much as what it cost me to run a computer. Also, not many people used a web browser in 93 (www is born in what? 91?) and a single big 24 bits background image on a website (one of the many you have in tabs) can take well over 3M of internal memory... That is not talking about any of the other useful things we do with our computer now. I personally believe coding i
  • by get quad ( 917331 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:00PM (#22786396)
    Few people play Quake 4 today as it was released roughly 1.5 years before it was ready for retail, then Activision expected the public to become guinea pig beta testers for a half-assed product. Microsoft should take a lesson, as Vista has become the same laughing stock as a video game for the exact same reasons. In other words, software companies need to make this quip their gospel: An Old Bull and a Young Bull were standing at the top of a hill overlooking a large meadow full of cows. The Young Bull says excitedly, "Let's run down there and fuck us a cow!" "No, son", says the Old Bull, "let's WALK down there and fuck them all."
    • by dryueh ( 531302 )

      "let's WALK down there and fuck them all."

      Then the Young Bull fragged the Old with a railgun, just before rocket-jumping over the corpse on his way to L-O-L copulation.


      In all seriousness, I'm hopeful for SP1, but I'll definitely wait to install until there's some more feedback. I use XP at work, Vista at home.. I seem to be one of the few that doesn't mind the OS, and even prefers it to XP in several ways.

  • Slow install (Score:5, Informative)

    by doodzed ( 35795 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:00PM (#22786402) Homepage
    Do not start the update procedure unless you do not need your machine for a while. On stage 2 of 3 on a fairly beefy box(5.1 vista experience) and it has been chugging for about 15 min and shows 2% done.

    At least my mac is up.
  • Oh noes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:00PM (#22786408)
    Run for your lives! Seriously is this just like any other patch Tuesday or should I get in my mom's basement now and hunker down for a few weeks.

    J/K. I'm always in my mom's basement.
  • by MOMOCROME ( 207697 ) <> on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:08PM (#22786506)
    went smooth as silk, even on the more complicated Vista Ultimate.

    why do I mention it? well. this thread will be full of nasty, snarky lies. maybe i can balance things out a bit and thank the windows team for an update well done.

    now if they could just turn their attention to the fail that is 'windows ultimate extras', that would be perfect.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ashridah ( 72567 )
      I personally like the disinformation about SP1 being pulled or delayed that was blatantly incorrect (it was stated that it would be mid-march when it was announced at the start of Feb, and shock, it's now mid-march, and it's been released)

      But still, not like the facts matter to The Register or Slashdot anymore... if they ever did.
    • Okay Bill, you can go back to your charity work now....

  • by rob1980 ( 941751 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:13PM (#22786582)
    God Hates Us All.
  • Bugs by Category (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:17PM (#22786632)
    Vista Service Pack 1 rolls up 551 bug fixes [] which are broken down by category in that link. Many of these fixes were not available before even through more advanced sites such as MSDN or TechNet. So, now that SP1 is out the trend to watch for is if it actually spures adoption or just passes by unnoticed. I for one welcome..., err, did buy Vista because SP1 was imminent for it as my primary purchasing reason. SP1 incrementally improves Vista and through the simple realities of OEM distribution like it or not within a few years Vista will probably be at least 40%+ market share.
  • Shock Horror (Score:5, Informative)

    by Toreo asesino ( 951231 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:17PM (#22786634) Journal
    I've been running it for a couple of weeks now, and yes, shock horror it does work just fine.

    The system feels more responsive, and stuff happens as it should. This is the Vista that should've shipped, but where Vista has suffered Windows Server 2008 has gained; all the initial frustrations have been fixed in SP1 for Vista and Windows Server 2008, so consider Vista RTM a beta kernel for Win2k8. It is after all, the server market Windows isn't 95% prevalent in after all.
  • Any way to slipstream it with new boot loader also? For windows 64 that can use bios and EFI?
    If not does MS have a ISO link to use with you key as any iso for 64bit or 32bit should work with your key I have a unused 32bit and 64bit full install disk and I have to sp1 disk with efi on the 64bit one.
  • by John Jamieson ( 890438 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @03:58PM (#22787186)
    Most people would care a lot more about XP-SP3.
    Lets hope that with this Vista SP out, MS will release XP-SP3.
  • by sokoban ( 142301 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @04:01PM (#22787222) Homepage
    Here's the source code: /*
    TOP SECRET Microsoft(c) Project:Longhorn(TM) SP1
    Estimated release date:2008
    #include "win95.h"
    #include "win98.h"
    #include "leopard.h"

    char chew_up_some_ram[10000000];

    void main () {
    while (!CRASHED) {

    if (first_time_install) {

    if (still_not_crashed) {

    if (!DX10GPU()) {
    set_graphics(aero, very_slow);
    set_mouse(reaction, sometimes);
    } // printf("Welcome to Windows 2000); // printf("Welcome to Windows XP");
    printf("Welcome to Windows Vista");

    while (something) {

  • by RedMage ( 136286 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @04:06PM (#22787270) Homepage

    I find it interesting that operating systems are more and more being treated like applications. Traditionally the OS was responsible for managing resources (Disk, Memory, etc.), controlling security, and coordinating activities (queues, jobs, etc.) Today the Windows OS is responsible for browsing the web, playing music, recording TV, and plotting world domination (OK, I added that last one...) Why should these things be included in the "operating system" mix? I would argue that even a windowing system is borderline (see X).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shados ( 741919 )
      Mostly because more and more, computers are being treated like appliances... So anything basic that it cannot do straight out of the box, or by installing only ONE package, is something "missing" from a user's point of view.
  • Update didn't work for me on a Euro version of "Vista Ultimate English". It said my version was not supported. Is there a different US English version as opposed to some international English version?
  • by ndykman ( 659315 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @05:15PM (#22788134)
    I've been running Vista for about 16 months now. (Got it from MSDN, etc.). I ran both 32bit and 64bit editions, on two kinds of hardware. It's been a bumpy ride sometimes.

    If at all possible, use the x64 edition. Yes, some OEM make this a pain, but try. Given this, my next suggestion seems obvious. Get more memory. The more, the better. I'd rather have 8G of DDR2-533 than 2G of DDR3 uber-awesome overclocked OMGBBQ ram, because caching works. If on an Intel integrated graphics, turn down some of the Aero stuff. Duh. If possible, just buy a cheap 8400GS, because even that will help.

    SP1 helps. Some things are faster. Of course, I'm not seeing some of the problems others are. I recently shipped some ISOs over from machine to my server (Win 2008), and it just flew. Got about 600Mb over a 1Gb switched link.

    All in all. Not one blue screen on the desktop, a couple on the laptop due a older bluetooth driver. Things seem plenty responsive and fast, but there is a breaking in period. Sure, it isn't "awesome", but ME it sure is not.

    Be patient! Indexing and the prefetching stuff takes time, but it does work. I use Outlook (okay, I know, I know) a lot, and it fired up faster and faster after the first day or two.

  • by pandrijeczko ( 588093 ) on Tuesday March 18, 2008 @07:13PM (#22789598)
    ...if Vista SP1 brings it closer to the expectations of its users then I'm very happy for them.

    But why do I still get the feeling that very few people ***CHOSE*** to upgrade to it but just accepted it because it came on their new PC and they couldn't do anything about it because XP had been artificially phased out by Microsoft?

    In my view, those are not good indications that Vista is, in any way, a successful product.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein