Thursday, February 21, 2008

Windows Vista SP1 is here!

You heard it right, the first Vista service pack is now available for download. I am currently downloading it through Windows Update, so I can't tell you any specifics.

This Microsoft page should give you all the information you need.

There are a lot of fixes in SP1, but browsing through the "Notable changes in Windows Vista Service Pack 1" reveals a few interesting fixes and additions:

Hardware "ecosystem"

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 Windows Vista SP1 to install to GPT format disks, boot and resume from hibernate using UEFI firmware.
My comment: So, we'll have support for the new UEFI standard (as seen on the newer MacBooks). When these boot specifications start being used on desktop computers, we'll see a friendlier boot-up. You could even use your mouse, instead of tapping away at the keyboard through endless text screens. This addition, however, is for 64-bit systems.

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.
To most users, this won't make much of a difference. It is mainly an addition that enforces a few image standards.


SP1 addresses issues many of the most common causes of crashes and hangs in Windows Vista, as reported by Windows Error Reporting. These include issues relating to Windows Calendar, Windows Media Player, and a number of drivers included with Windows Vista.

Hopefully, this is what it says it is. To be serious, though, I have had few serious crashes during my time with Vista x64.

Performance improvements

Improves performance over Windows Vista’s current performance across the following scenarios:
  • 25% faster when copying files locally on the same disk on the same machine

It's always nice to be able to copy files faster.
Improves the copy progress estimation when copying files within Windows Explorer to about two seconds.

Does it have to take any longer than this? Get it over with quick, and copy my file.

Desktop administration
Allows users and administrators to control which volumes the disk defragmenter runs on.

Kind of strange not to include this from the start, don't you think?

Setup and patching
The addition that jumped at me while reading the change log was this:
Enables support for hotpatching, a reboot-reduction servicing technology designed to maximize uptime. It works by allowing Windows components to be updated (or "patched") while they are still in use by a running process. Hotpatch-enabled update packages are installed via the same methods as traditional update packages, and will not trigger a system reboot.

If it works, and does what it says it will do, we won't be forced to restart our computers, come next patch Tuesday.

Well. these are just a few of the things I noticed in the change log. Enjoy SP1 goodness, this is what I'm about to do.

Wish me luck.

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