Vista SP1..

It is not the first OS service pack ever, but is eagerly awaited by many as a panacea to all Vista ills. It won’t be, of course, any more than Windows 2000 or Windows XP SP1 was. Windows 2000 saw four service packs in it’s life, and so far there have been two for XP with a final ‘roll up’ SP3 appearing at the same time as Vista SP1.

Service Packs roll up all previous updates into one neat package, and include as many fixes and patches as have been found to be benign. Before release, the SP has to be tested for integrity and to ensure that there is as close to a 100% chance that it will install for all users. It also has to be incorporated into the original RTM release. Even after installing SP1, other updates will follow closely on its heels, simply because testing and setting up the distribution network to get it out all takes time and, in that time, other issues will have surfaced.

Service Packs have lost some of their original thunder, updates being delivered monthly now. There are a few months to go before the SP1 release, so there is no way out of waiting more than a few minutes for all of the present and future releases to do their stuff. For those with high end computers and fast broadband internet access, life is not so bad. Unfortunately, many still don’t have high speed internet, cheap or otherwise, especially where distance, hills and trees get in the way.

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Bear in mind that SP1 will not fix problems such as older printer/scanner control programs that were written pre-Vista. The hardware manufacturers are responsible, and any decision to supply free updates will be at their discretion, and their decision will be final and binding. 

For those of you still unsure about Vista, I will say this. I have been running Windows Vista Ultimate RTM since it was first released to the technical community on November 17, 2006. Before that, I was running the beta forms. I was lucky in that all of my hardware was recognised, other than a small problem with it seeing my printer as a usable device. The RTM release saw everything working fine.

I do have critical information and data on this computer, but I do not run any seriously mission critical applications. My work would not be too seriously affected in the time that it would take me to re-instate everything. Where you do have mission critical operations, run Vista alongside them. It has come a long way since release, and gets better all of the time. It is not as bad as some would have you believe, and it is the way forward.

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