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Vista Service Pack 1 Details, Blocker Software

Long Zheng has a detailed list of the major changes in Windows Vista Service Pack 1, coming in beta any day now. Read the whole list, or check out some of the ones I found interesting:

  • 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.
  • Enhances the MPEG-2 decoder to support content protection across a user accessible bus on Media Center systems configured with Digital Cable Tuner hardware. This also effectively enables higher levels of hardware decoder acceleration for commercial DVD playback on some hardware.
  • 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.
  • Improves reliability by preventing data-loss while ejecting NTFS-formatted removable-media.
  • Improves wireless ad-hoc connection (computer-to-computer wireless connections) success rate
  • Improves Windows Vista’s built-in file backup solution to include EFS encrypted files in the backup.
  • Improves the performance of browsing network file shares by consuming less bandwidth.
  • Improves power consumption when the display is not changing by allowing the processor to remain in its sleep state which consumes less energy.
  • Improves power consumption and battery life by addressing an issue that causes a hard disk to continue spinning when it should spin down, in certain circumstances.
  • Improves the speed of adding and extracting files to and from a compressed (zipped) folder.
  • Significantly improves the speed of moving a directory with many files underneath.
  • 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
    • 45% faster when copying files from a remote non-Windows Vista system to a SP1 system
    • 50% faster when copying files from a remote SP1 system to a local SP1 system
  • Improves the copy progress estimation when copying files within Windows Explorer to about two seconds.
  • Improves the time to read large images by approximately 50%.
  • Improves IE performance on certain Jscript intensive websites, bringing performance in line with previous IE releases.
  • Addresses a problem that caused a delay of up to 5 minutes after boot with specific ReadyDrive capable hard drives.
  • In specific scenarios, SP1 reduces the shutdown time by a few seconds by improving the Windows Vista utility designed to sync a mobile device.
  • Reduces the time it takes to return to the user’s session when using the Photo screensaver, making it comparable to other screensavers.
  • Removes the delay that sometimes occurs when a user unlocks their PC.
  • Improves overall media performance by reducing many glitches.
  • The Windows Vista SP1 install process clears the user-specific data that is used by Windows to optimize performance, which may make the system feel less responsive immediately after install. As the customer uses their SP1 PC, the system will be retrained over the course of a few hours or days and will return to the previous level of responsiveness.
  • Adds full support for the latest IEEE draft of 802.11n wireless networking.
  • Updated drivers are delivered primarily via Windows Update and directly from hardware vendors, not as part of a service pack. However, a small number of critical drivers are included as part of Windows Vista (e.g., display drivers, audio drivers) and some of these have been updated.
  • The MSN Connection Center Dial-up Internet Access connector was removed from the Windows Vista Connection Wizard.
  • With SP1, Windows Vista will report the amount of system memory installed rather than report the amount of system memory available to the OS. Therefore 32-bit systems equipped with 4GB of RAM will report all 4BG in many places throughout the OS, such as the System Control Panel. However, this behavior is dependent on having a compatible BIOS, so not all users may notice this change.
  • SP1 reduces the number of UAC (User Account Control) prompts from 4 to 1 when creating or renaming a folder at a protected location.
  • Users are now required to enter a password hint during the initial setup of Windows Vista SP1. This change was made based on feedback from top PC manufactures that many customers frequently do not remember their password and because the administrator account is turned off by default on Windows Vista, these users do not have a way to access to their PCs. A password hint helps avoid this frustrating scenario.

If you don’t want the Service Pack automatically installed by Vista when it becomes available and pushed through Windows Update, then install Blocker Tool Kit. It’ll stop Vista SP1, XP SP3, even Server 2003 SP2 for up to 12 months. Download it here.

December 11th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | XP, Vista, Windows, General | 3 comments

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  1. It seems to me the term “Release Candidate” is being devalued. It used to mean: “this is the one that’s ready for release but we’d just like some people to test it to be on the safe side - just in case we messed up one of the final changes”.

    Now, according to the Vista blog, a Release Candidate “indicates that the code has attained a significant level of performance and stability”.

    So, when they find more bugs in the Release Candidate, do they release another one before RTM?

    Comment by Julian Gall | December 11, 2007

  2. Yes, absolutely. Release Candidate 1 is often followed by Release Candidate 2, especially on large, complex projects.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | December 11, 2007

  3. […] in the release are on TechNet, but here’s a shorter highlight list, taken from the InsideMicrosoft […]

    Pingback by Windows Vista SP1 is coming soon | December 14, 2007

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