In this issue:
Microsoft 'confirms' Vista SP1...
by Arie Slob
Hello Windows users,
The Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) saga continues... Did I write in early July that ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley expected that SP1 for Vista would be released in beta later that month? We all know now that didn't happen.
Microsoft's Windows client team, since the launch of Vista under Director of Windows Engineering Steven Sinofsky, has adopted a much more restrictive information-flow policy than was previously the case. Sinofsky likes the Windows client team to under promise & over deliver. The end result is that the client team is very secretive about anything pertaining to future Windows client directions.
It also causes confusion in the market place. Business customers have long been relying on information on future releases to plan their roll-out of new operating systems. Many have adopted the practice of waiting for a service pack 1 release from Microsoft before starting to roll out a new OS. Service Pack 1 for Windows XP was released within eleven months after the initial shipping date of XP, but the target date for this service pack was communicated in the first few months after XP's launch.
Vista's service pack 1 information has only left a lot of confusion. Originally it was planned to have Vista's SP1 ship with Microsoft's new server product; Windows Server 2008. This was targeted for a release at the end of 2007, but has now been delayed till February 2008 (although Microsoft still maintains Windows Server 2008 will be released to manufacturing (RTM) in 2007).
Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer twice publicly disavowed any knowledge that the company had even considered releasing Vista SP1, apparently in an attempt to get business customers to upgrade on the initial release of the software. This 'strategy' failed, businesses are proceeding with the usual caution and waiting for the 1st service pack to 'make the move'.
The first indication of a release date comes from a court document that was released back in June of this year. This document notes: "Microsoft will deliver the required changes in Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista, which Microsoft currently anticipates will be available in beta form by the end of the year."
The latest clue stems from Microsoft's Financial Analyst Meeting 2007 that points out a FY2008 (FY stands for Fiscal Year. Microsoft fiscal year 2008 started on July 1st 2007 and ends June 30 2008) release date for Vista SP1. Steve Ballmer's speech at the meeting was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation (which is available for download from the Microsoft Web site) which includes the slide in question.
So it seems most likely that Vista's SP1 will be released around the time that Windows Server 2008 will hit the market (February 27, 2008), but by no later than June 2008 (June 30, 2008 marks the end of Microsoft's FY2008).
I don't think this 'secrecy' does the company any good. Its clients like to know where the company is heading & business customers in particular like to know the release date of the first service pack of a new operating system. For them the first service pack means that most incompatibilities will have been addressed, and deploying the new operating system should cause fewer problems.
Microsoft to Release Vista Performance Fixes?
Microsoft has been testing two Reliability Packs for Windows Vista last month, and has plans to release the updates via Windows Update in the near future (speculation is for a release later this month).
The performance & reliability packs are set to fix a number of issues encountered by Vista users, including:
- Improves the performance in calculating the "estimated time remaining" when copying/moving large files
- Improves performance in bringing up Login Screen after resuming from Hibernate
- Resolves an issue where a computer can lose its default gateway address when resuming from sleep mode
- Improves the performance when copying or moving entire directories containing large amounts of data or files
- Improved reliability and compatibility of Vista when used with newer graphics cards in several specific scenarios and configurations
- Improved reliability when working with external displays on a laptop
- Increased compatibility with many video drivers
- Improved Vista reliability in networking configuration scenarios
- Improved the reliability of Windows Calendar in Vista
- Improved reliability of systems that were upgraded from XP to Vista
- Increased compatibility with many printer drivers
- Increased reliability and performance of Vista when entering sleep and resuming from sleep