Microsoft publishes detailed Vista SP1 “changelog”

Windows Vista SP1Leading up to next week’s public beta-test release of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Release Candidate, Microsoft today has published a 17-page document outlining in fine detail exactly what difference SP1 makes to Vista.

Some of the contents has been shared in bits in the past, but this is so far the most comprehensive “changelog” we’ve ever seen and probably will see as the final version is not expected to differ much from the RC, with the exception of WGA modifications as described below. I’ve highlighted some of the most interesting changes which you may or may not already know.

This document describes many of the notable changes in Windows Vista SP1, with the exception of some updates to the Windows Genuine Advantage experience which we are still developing for our customers and will be released in a later build.

Hardware Ecosystem Support and Enhancements

  • 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.
  • Adds support for x64 EFI network boot.
  • Adds support for the 64-bit version of MSDASQL, which acts as a “bridge” from OLEDB to a variety of ODBC drivers thus simplifying application migration from 32-bit platforms to 64-bit Windows Vista.
  • 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.
  • Adds support for exFAT, a new file system supporting larger overall capacity and larger files, which will be used in Flash memory storage and consumer devices.
  • Adds support for SD Advanced DMA (ADMA) on compliant SD standard host controllers. This new transfer mechanism, which is expected to be supported in SD controllers soon, will improve transfer performance and decrease CPU utilization.
  • Adds support for creating a single DVD media that boots on PCs with either BIOS or EFI.
  • Enhances support for high density drives by adding new icons and labels that will identify HD-DVD and Blu-ray Drives as high density drives.
  • 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.
  • Enhances Netproj.exe to temporarily resize the desktop to accommodate custom projector resolutions when connecting to Windows Network Projectors.


Reliability Improvements

Reliability improvements vary from PC to PC based on hardware, environment, and usage. Customers will experience varying levels of benefit.

  • 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 reliability of IPSec connections over IPv6 by ensuring by ensuring that all Neighbor Discovery RFC traffic is IPsec exempted.
  • Improves certain problem scenarios where a driver goes to sleep with incomplete packet transmissions by ensuring the driver is given enough time to transmit or discard any outstanding packets before going to sleep.
  • Improves wireless ad-hoc connection (computer-to-computer wireless connections) success rate
  • Improves the success of peer-to-peer connections, such as Windows Meeting Space or Remote Assistance applications, when both PCs are behind symmetric firewalls.
  • Improves Windows Vista’s built-in file backup solution to include EFS encrypted files in the backup.
  • An improved SRT (Startup Repair Tool), which is part of the Windows Recovery environment (WinRE), can now fix PCs unbootable due to certain missing OS files.
  • Users who did not opt-in to the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) will be prompted again to join after installing SP1. The experience will remain the same and the default will continue to be opt-out.

Performance and Power Consumption Improvements

Performance improvements vary from PC to PC based on hardware, environment, scenarios, and usage, so different customers will experience varying levels of benefits. About 20-25% of these improvements will be released separately via Windows update, prior to Windows Vista SP1.

  • 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.
  • Addresses the problem of the Video chipset (VSync interrupt) not allowing the system to stay asleep.
  • 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 while copying files using BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service).
  • 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 responsiveness when doing many kinds of file or media manipulations. For example, with Windows Vista today, copying files after deleting a different set of files can make the copy operation take longer than needed. In SP1, the file copy time is the same as if no files were initially deleted.
  • 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.
  • Improves the effectiveness of a Windows ReadyBoost™ device in reducing the time to resume from standby and hibernate by increasing the amount of data stored in the ReadyBoost device that can be used during a resume cycle.
  • Includes improvements to Windows Superfetch™ that help to further improve resume times, in many environments.
  • In specific scenarios, SP1 reduces the shutdown time by a few seconds by improving the Windows Vista utility designed to sync a mobile device.
  • Improves the time to resume from standby for a certain class of USB Hubs by approximately 18%.
  • Improves network connection scenarios by updating the logic that auto selects which network interface to use (e.g., should a laptop use wireless or wired networking when both are available).
  • Improves the performance of the user login experience on corporate PCs outside of corporate environments (e.g., a corporate laptop taken home for the evening), making it comparable with PCs within the corporate environment.
  • 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.
  • In SP1, PC administrators are able to modify the network throttling index value for the MMCSS (Multimedia Class Scheduling Service), allowing them to determine the appropriate balance between network performance and audio/video playback quality.
  • Windows Vista SP1 includes a new compression algorithm for the RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) that helps reduce network bandwidth required to send bitmaps or images via RDP. The compression, which can be selected by administrators via Group Policy settings, is transparent to all RDP traffic, and typically reduces the size of the RDP stream by as much as 25-60%, based on preliminary test results.
  • 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.
  • SP1 addresses a number of customer performance concerns with new print driver technologies, including XPS-based printing.

Security Improvements

  • Windows Vista SP1 includes all previously released Security Bulletin fixes which affect Windows Vista.
  • SP1 includes Secure Development Lifecycle process updates, where Microsoft identifies the root cause of each security bulletin and improves our internal tools to eliminate code patterns that could lead to future vulnerabilities.
  • Service Pack 1 includes supported APIs by which third-party security and malicious software detection applications can work alongside Kernel Patch Protection on 64-bit versions of Windows Vista. These APIs have been designed to help security and non-security ISVs develop software that extends the functionality of the Windows kernel on 64-bit systems, in a documented and supported manner, and without disabling or weakening the protection offered by Kernel Patch Protection.
  • Improves the security of running RemoteApp™ programs and desktops by allowing RDP files to be signed. Administrators now have the control to differentiate the user experience based on the publisher’s identity.
  • Data Execution Protection (DEP) is a memory-protection feature available beginning with Windows XP and Server 2003. SP1 improves security with a new set of Win32 APIs to allow programmatic control over a process’s DEP policy. This will provide application developers with finer control on a process’s DEP settings for security, testability, compatibility, and reliability.
  • Improves the trustworthiness of data presented in Windows Security Center (WSC) by ensuring that only authenticated security applications can communicate with WSC.
  • Improves security on wired networks by enabling single sign on (SSO) for authenticated wired networks. The single sign on experience presents the user with a single point of credential entry rather than being double prompted for local and network logon.
  • For customers upgrading from Windows XP to Windows Vista SP1, the MSRT (Malicious Software Removal Tool) will not run as part of the upgrade. Rather the up-to-date MSRT offered monthly by Windows Update will help protect PCs. The cryptographic random number generation is improved to gather seed entropy from more sources, including a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) when available, and replaces the general purpose pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) with an AES-256 counter mode PRNG for both user and kernel mode.
  • Improves security in smart card scenarios: o Introduction of a new PIN channel to securely collect smart card PINs via a PC. This new capability mitigates a number of attacks that today would require using an external PIN reader to prevent. o Enables smart cards that use biometric authentication instead of a PIN.
  • Improves security over Teredo interface by blocking unsolicited traffic by default. This has already been addressed in a Security Update for Windows Vista (KB935807).
  • Improves BitLocker Drive Encryption by offering an additional multi-factor authentication method that combines a key protected by the TPM (Trusted Platform Module) with a Startup Key stored on a USB storage device and a user-generated Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • Enhanced the BitLocker encryption support to volumes other than bootable volumes in Windows Vista (for Enterprise and Ultimate SKUs).
  • Improves the OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol) implementation such that it can be configured to work with OCSP responses that are signed by trusted OCSP signers, separate from the issuer of the certificate being validated.
  • Enables a standard user to invoke the CompletePC Backup application, provided that user can supply administrator credentials. Previously, only administrators could launch the application.
  • The Remote Desktop client in Windows Vista SP1 provides user interface improvements for user and server authentication. The RDP client streamlines the multiple steps end users must follow to providing their credentials to Windows Server 2003 (or earlier) Terminal Servers, and simplifies the management of previously saved credentials.

Support for New Technologies and Standards

  • Adds support for new strong cryptographic algorithms used in IPsec. SHA-256, AES-GCM, and AES-GMAC for ESP and AH, ECDSA, SHA-256, and SHA-384 for IKE and AuthIP.
  • Adds the NIST SP 800-90 Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC) pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) to the list of available PRNG in Windows Vista.
  • Adds support for SSTP (Secure Sockets Tunnel Protocol), a remote access VPN tunneling protocol that will be part of Microsoft’s RRAS (Routing and Remote Access Service) platform. SSTP helps provide full-network VPN remote access connections over SSL, removing some of the VPN connectivity challenges that other VPN tunnels face traversing NAT, web proxies, and firewalls.
  • Adds full support for the latest IEEE draft of 802.11n wireless networking.
  • Adds support for obtaining identity and invoke identity UI from an inner method via a new EAPHost runtime API as well as a configuration UI for tunnel methods. These APIs are useful for developers working on tunneling/multi-phased EAP authentication methods as well as those who implement networking supplicants which consume EAP authentications.
  • Adds support for Windows Smartcard Framework to enable compliance with the EU
  • Digital Signature Directive and National ID / eID.
  • Adds support for the Parental Controls Games Restrictions for ratings from the Korean Game Rating Board (GRB).
  • Enhances TCP Chimney network card support so that a TCP Chimney network card can also support Compound TCP.
  • Adds support in the Wireless Client for a new FIPS (Federal Information Processing) compliant mode. This mode is FIPS 140-2 compliant because it moves the cryptographic processing from the wireless network card to an existing FIPS-approved cryptographic library.
  • Enhances Windows Firewall and IPsec to use the new cryptographic algorithms that are Suite B compliant.
  • 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.

Desktop Administration and Management

  • Allows users and administrators to control which volumes the disk defragmenter runs on.
  • Allows users and administrators using Network Diagnostics to solve the most common file sharing problems, not just network connection problems.
  • Enables polling of RMS server at regular intervals to identify new templates and download them to the local template store. Previously these templates were pushed to clients via a combination of Group Policy and scripting. Additionally SP1 provides an API for applications to query and access template in the template store.
  • Windows Vista SP1 includes a new Security Policy (UAC: Allow UAccess), which allows applications to prompt for elevation without using the secure desktop. This allows a remote helper to enter administrative credentials during a Remote Assistance session.
  • Allows administrators to configure NAP Clients to: Receive updates from Windows Update or Microsoft Update, in addition to WSUS (Windows Server Update Services), as is the case for Windows Vista today. Define the time a client has to retrieve and submit Statements of Health. This allows the NAP client to respond in time when a particular connection has a timeout requirement. Use DNS server records to discover health registration authority (HRA) servers when there are no HRA’s configured through local configuration or group policy.
  • Allow healthy clients used by the Help Desk to establish IPSec connections to unhealthy machines to help resolve problems. This improves the supportability of NAP by allowing Help Desk technicians with health compliant machines to establish connections (e.g. remote desktop, file share) to help resolve issues.
  • Allows administrators to add a WSD (Web Services for Devices) Print Device to remote Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 machines. This can be accomplished by using the Print Management Console.
  • Allows the administrators to use a new admin flag to allow WMI scripted enumeration of all contents in the CSC cache. This will enhance WMI scripted administration for offline folders in Windows Vista. Previously this was available only through the COM API.
  • Improves printing to local printers from within a Terminal Server session. Allows users to rename or delete folders while working offline with redirected folders. This functionality is important to users that use Folder Redirection and work in offline mode for extended periods of time. This functionality is disabled by default but can be enabled by enabling a registry setting.
  • Enhances the existing Vista EAPHost service by including an EAP (Extensible Authentication Protocol) Certification Program (ECP) Detection Mechanism. This mechanism makes delivery of EAP Methods submitted to the ECP available through Windows Update.
  • Adds a WMI interface as a replacement for the MoveUser.exe tool which was removed from Windows Vista. This allows customers to remap an existing workgroup or domain user account profile to a new domain user account profile.
  • Allows an administrator to configure properties of a network, such as the name, and deploy it network-wide via a Group Policy snap-in.
  • Allows KMS (Key Management Service) to run within a Virtual Machine environment.

Setup and Deployment Improvements

  • Enables global organizations to more easily deploy SP1 in a multi-lingual environment, as SP1 includes all 36 language packs. However, this change contributes to the increased size of the standalone package.
  • Enables users to get updated Help content via a separate downloadable package. This package will be released around SP1 release.
  • 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.
  • Improves migration and upgrade scenarios relating to the component that allows alternate text input “modalities” like speech, handwriting, and multi-byte character input editors in applications that were not written specifically to support them.
  • Improves OS deployment by enabling 64-bit versions of Windows Vista to be installed from a 32-bit OS. This will allow IT professionals to maintain just a single WinPE image.
  • Improves OS deployment by supporting the installation of offline boot critical storage drivers. WinPE will automatically look to a hidden partition for drivers. It will search that partition recursively, and if boot critical drivers are present they will be loaded. Non-boot critical drivers will be picked up and staged, but not loaded prior to the OS coming online.
  • Improves patch deployment by retrying failed updates in cases where multiple updates are pending and the failure of one update causes other updates to fail as well.
  • Enables reliable OS installation by optimizing OS installers so that they are run only when required during patch installation. Fewer installers operating results in fewer points of potential failure during installation, which leads to more robust and reliable installation.
  • Improves overall install time for updates by optimizing the query for installed OS updates.
  • Improves robustness during the patch installation by being resilient to transient errors such as sharing violations or access violations.
  • Improves robustness of transient failures during the disk cleanup of old OS files after install.
  • Improves the uninstallation experience for OS updates by improving the uninstallation routines in custom OS installation code.
  • Improves reliability of OS updates by making them more resilient to unexpected interruptions, such as power failure.
  • Improved instrumentation allows additional data to be sent to Microsoft via the CEIP (Customer Experience Improvement Program) when enabled. This telemetry data led to the identification of numerous issues that are addressed in SP1 and resulted in improvement in the reliability of OS servicing. (CEIP is respectful of personally identifiable information and adheres to terms discussed in the EULA.)
  • After the SP1 version of the OPK (OEM pre-installation kit) is installed, further OPK updates will not be required if a servicing stack update is issued. (The servicing stack is the underlying set of binaries used to update the system). Post SP1, offline images may be updated using the servicing stack binaries contained in the image rather than the servicing stack binaries in the OPK.

Interoperability Improvements

  • SP1 exposes Ideal Send Backlog (ISB) information to Winsock2 clients to enable better throughput over high bandwidth, high latency links when communicating with Windows Server 2008. Applications that are modified to use the new ISB info will provide better throughput when sending large amounts of data over such links to other Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 machines. Applications not modified to take advantage of this change will function as before.
  • SP1 includes throughput improvements to Send in TransmitFile/TransmitPackets and ftp.exe, when communicating with Windows Server 2008 over high bandwidth, high latency links. Ftp.exe and other applications using TransmitFile/TransmitPackets on Windows Vista SP1 will achieve better throughput when sending files over such links to other Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 machines.

Feature or API Changes

  • GPMC (Group Policy Management Console) will be uninstalled with Service Pack 1 and GPEdit will default to Local Group Policy editing. Following these changes, SP1 users can download an updated version of GPMC which will include new Group Policy capabilities including adding comments to GPOs or individual settings and searching for specific Group Policy settings.
  • The MSN Connection Center Dial-up Internet Access connector was removed from the Windows Vista Connection Wizard.
  • Includes a new Offline Files interface that exports the dirty byte count for a file that is modified offline. This interface is exposed both through the COM APIs and WMI provider for Offline Files.

General Improvements and Enhancements

  • SP1 includes a number of changes which allow computer manufacturers and consumers to select a default desktop search program similar to the way they currently select defaults for third-party web browsers and media players. That means that in addition to the numerous ways a user could access a third party search solution in Windows Vista, they can now get to their preferred search results from additional entry points in the Start Menu and Explorer Windows in Windows Vista with SP1. 3rd party software vendors simply need to register their search application using the newly provided protocol in Windows Vista SP1 to enable these options for their customers.
  • 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.
  • Improvements in the Licensing User Interface and User Experience including more details in the help about activation and what happens if user does not activate; more detailed and descriptive dialog text; raw error codes replaced with easily comprehensible text.
  • SP1 modifies the text in the Ultimate Extras Control Panel to describe the Ultimate Extras program in more general terms.
  • Upon scanning a photo with the Vista scanning experience, SP1 will open Explorer rather than opening Windows Photo Gallery.
  • 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.
  • Improves compatibility with 3rd party diagnostic tools that rely on raw sockets by applying the same delivery logic to control (ICMP v4 and v6) and regular packages.
  • While not reflected in the initial release candidate this week, we will also be making changes effective with SP1 in how we differentiate the experience customers have using non-genuine versions of our software. This is based on feedback we heard from volume license customers in particular as part of our Windows Genuine Advantage program.
  • Also coming with SP1 but not in the current release candidate, we will also be including updates that deal with two exploits we have seen, which can affect system stability for our customers. The OEM Bios exploit, which involves modifying system files and the BIOS of the motherboard to mimic a type of product activation performed on copies of Windows that are pre-installed by OEMs in the factory. The Grace Timer exploit, which attempts to reset the “grace time” limit between installation and activation to something like the year 2099 in some cases.

Windows Vista Alignment with Windows Server 2008

Windows Vista is aligned with Windows Server 2008, meaning that many files are common to both products. A result of this design is that there are cases where a common binary is modified to enable a server scenario that has limited or no effect on Windows Vista SP1 capabilities. Here are few examples:

  • File Sharing: The file sharing subsystem on Windows Vista only allows 10 concurrent inbound connections. Windows Server 2008 must scale to support thousands of concurrent connections. During the testing and customer feedback phase of Windows Server 2008 development, the file sharing subsystems are tuned and refined to optimize the file sharing stack for performance, scalability and reliability. This level of tuning and refinement are not typically applicable on a 10-connection limit client, but are critical to a file server role. Changes like this are done primarily for the server scenarios, although these changes may also benefit Windows Vista SP1.
  • IIS 7: IIS was included in some Windows Vista SKUs to enable web-based developers to write and test their applications. IIS in Windows Server 2008 is a significant server role which requires Internet-level scalability and performance requirements. The IIS7 components have gone through significant performance and reliability enhancements since Windows Vista originally shipped, in order to be a large-scale server component. These changes do not affect most Windows Vista users who do not even have the IIS7 components installed, however because Windows Vista and Windows Server are aligned, these changes are included in Windows Vista SP1.
  • Concurrent User Support: Key subsystems such as the Windows Logon process and the core kernel need only support user-switching scenarios on Windows Vista. However, on Windows Server 2008, where a Terminal Server may have thousands of users logged in simultaneously, these subsystems must be tuned for maximum performance and reliability. Changes like this are done primarily for the server scenarios, although they may also benefit Windows Vista SP1.

116 insightful thoughts

  1. I’m happy with this. If only they’d added a new version of Movie Maker or something then the media would be like “WOW”.

  2. @Not using my name: No. Only the software device driver trick won’t work, so genuine OEM preactivated systems are not affected. You can still risk flashing your BIOS and it’ll activate.

    LOL @ SP1 modifies the text in the Ultimate Extras Control Panel to describe the Ultimate Extras program “in more general terms”.

    64-bit version of MSDASQL is a really nice thing.

    As for hot patching, I always thought Vista had that since it’s based on Server 2003 codebase. Windows Server 2003 got hot patching in SP1…too bad XPSP2 never got it.

    A nice improvement => Improves Windows Vista’s built-in file backup solution to include EFS encrypted files in the backup.

    Still I’m not happy about:
    * A very slow and less featureful servicing stack: XP’s Update.exe had so many configurable options like /nobackup, /d:, /overwriteoem. They’re all missing in WUSA.exe or Pkgmgr.exe. Also, I hate constantly waiting at the “Configuring updates…please wait” screen after installing any hotfix/update from WU. MS acknowledges here (http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2007/11/29/6608419.aspx#comments) that there are some performance issues with the servicing stack and they’ll be fixed in “future hotfixes or service packs”. Hope they mean Vista SP1.

    * Forced auto-sort and full row selection in Windows Explorer
    * Not being able to configure file types like Windows 95-XP.
    * Not being able to select a MIDI synthesizer. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Features_removed_from_Windows_Vista)

  3. A nice list. Thanks for highlighting. But it’s bad that they will not improve the UI quality with this SP like all the bad rendered icons on high dpi; task bar thumbnails that are sometimes blank; re-arranged Sidebar gadgets after reboots; lack of keyboard navigation in Explorer’s new controls…

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  5. “I just installed SP1 RC1, and i am feeling immediate difference in performance and responsiveness.”

    Wait a few days.

  6. So no more need for Boot Camp? Hmm, now people will sell Macs with Vista only installed… They also seem tot ry and stamp out some piracy problems too, but not in the release candidate? won’t anyone with a pirated copy just grab the release candidate (that uses those exploits). Also, looks like they are taking their first step into 32/64 hybrid systems.

  7. It looks like the UAC will STILL be non-adaptive … in the sense of how firewalls (not windows)work- they ask if you always want to block this activity, prompt or automatically allow. In addition, some programs have skill levels ranging from beginner to intermediate to expert. What choices you make depends on the skill level.

    Why is Microsoft, after 7 years of software development, unable or unwilling to utilize these user friendly practices? Does it REALLY come down to incompetence or avarice?

  8. This all goes to show that Vista was not finished by miles when released !

    It also goes to prove the rule that you shouldnt buy a Microsoft OS until SP2 is released.

  9. EFI support FINALLY, and we can now boot from GPT discs. If youve been following PC_EFI development youd know that we can boot GPT partitions for OSX, with this new SP 64bit users can leave MBR behind forever (you may or may not need a UEFI motherboard for this though, its not very clear).

    Now we’ll have to wait for UEFI motherboards and see how that affects OSx86.

  10. These are not features that anyone will notice. SP1 is nothing but fluff. I have been testing Vista for almost 2 years and SP1 since before it was public and I am only becoming more and more disappointed with Microsoft and Vista. While not as buggy as Millennium Edition it offers less reason to “upgrade” than any other previous version of Windows. MS needs to wake up and stop trying to rehash old garbage.

  11. So, when exactly does the actual sp1 come out? Patch tuesday perhaps? Is the beta or RC version or whatever available?

  12. I agree with Paul.. He’s tried Vista and its slow progress towards SP1.. while I have sat back and only read about Vista and all its shortcomings…

    Vista SP1.. you fail.. I still can’t be bothered to switch.. next service pack..and include a better IE8 update in Vista SP2, when ever that happens(I guessing late 2008,2009 maybe in 2010) .. I might actually, perhaps..just slighty.. be interested in making the change to Vista. or not :)

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  14. where i can download the sp1 to test it on mi dell pc?. I have a original win vista OS.
    I search in windows site but only find some pdfs.

  15. “SP1 modifies the text in the Ultimate Extras Control Panel to describe the Ultimate Extras program in more general terms.”

    Best part of the whole changelog!

  16. microsoft is a billion dollar company ,with hundreds of engineers and vista took five years of development ,and this is the best they can do.time for linux,or osx

  17. let’s just take an example:

    “# Adds support for SD Advanced DMA (ADMA) on compliant SD standard host controllers. This new transfer mechanism, which is expected to be supported in SD controllers soon, will improve transfer performance and decrease CPU utilization. ”

    ok add support for a mechanism that’s not available yet….. feels great. How did they test? Ok, you’ll say – it uses the standard(s) to implement it. They didn’t with IDE drives either, causing XP stop errors if you use a disk on a diferent motherboard so does that give me a warm and fuzzy feeling?

    MS is one of the OS that needs drivers allthe time; other OS types just work out of the box, even with new hardware — because the other OS makers use a standard..

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  19. I was hoping for a few more small improvements like:

    1. The windows clock (on a single-row taskbar) should be able to display seconds (HH:mm:ss), as well as other stuff like day (Sun, Mon,…) & date (yyyy/mm/dd). Of course, the user can decide what will be displayed and in which format. I know I can use a double-row taskbar or even gadgets, but I really like a clean desktop which displays the information I want in the way I want.

    2. Support for vector-based icons. It seems so silly to use pixel-based icons that contain only a few fixed dimensions. Imagine how nice it would be to resize your desktop icons to any size you like and they would preserve their pristine smooth look. Not only that, vector-based icons could also be manipulated to have some cool animations on mouse-hover & mouse-click events i.e. rotations, fades, resizing, etc.

  20. Let me see. They kill the OEM “exploit” and I quit trying and waiting for Vista to improve and I never buy this crap. Then I use my spare hard-drive to try Linux again and?

    They still have not removed the one big reason I will never run Vista, GAMES. They run like crap with this dog. But that’s not important is it, the important thing is to stop the OEM “exploit”.

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  24. I think everyone bad mouthing Microsoft and Vista, should go and start there own company and make a better operating system since they know so much and think they can do so much better.

    or

    Should just go fuck off :D

  25. Ok, this is maybe not so important for most people, but it made me go back to XP. What about FPS in games, has it improved? I got a huge drop of FPS in World of Warcraft.

  26. @crescentdave: because that’d allow malware to piggyback on your whitelisted application and get administrator rights. It’s simply not safe.

  27. @Eric: I guess vector based icons would slow down the performance. You can resize the icons on your desktop with CTRL + Mouse Wheel but even Mozilla nor Zune releasing big icons for their software.

  28. tino,
    Vector-based icons will be part of a future OS, I can guarantee you that.
    Besides, they won’t slow down the performance of the desktop.

    Here are a few points for you to think about:
    1. The desktop will be much more dynamic and more appealing (the WOW factor), instead of boring static icons that become blurry/choppy when you scale them.

    2. If you haven’t noticed, many flash animations on millions of websites use vector-based objects and they load up pretty fast.

    3. TTF & OTF fonts are also vector-based, in case you didn’t know.

    4. With Windows Vista, Microsoft has implemented the power of your Graphics card for the desktop, so even with vector-based icons everything would run super-smooth without your PC even breaking a sweat.

    5. In certain cases, vector-based icons are smaller in size then their raster-based counterparts. Don’t forget that nowadays, an .ICO file in WinVista needs to hold various sizes from 16×16 up to 256×256, so their file-size is now larger than it was with WinXP.

  29. @dabloom thats crap i run Vista Ultimate from a laptop and the fps hasn’t dropped a bit.

    All you guys whineing about Vista do you have crap machines, Vista is so much more stable than Xp ever was when it first released I haven had a single problem with it. Apart from its ove-complicating of menus which is bloody annoying its a very good OS.

    I’m yet to install SP1 but i will do as it sounds like certain improvments everywhere

  30. @Neph I just say what I saw. I really wanted to keep Vista om my machine but the framerate did go down. I have a Nvidia GF Go 7900GTX in my laptop and maybe there is better drivers for nvidia now, but I don’t want to install Vista again until I know the performance in games has improved.

  31. @Eric: I know this stuff really well. I did a lot of interface designs. Just try out WPF or Flash with icons. It’s really slow. And you did say why it’s slow: because vector based objects are smaller in file size, the CPU/GPU needs to calculated them to display.

    My point wasn’t that the technology is the problem here but the lack of high quality design. If you look from an interface designer perspective on Vista (and now on SP1) it somehow feels that Microsoft didn’t really care about the “g” in GUI (just see the changelog above).

  32. My company has been considering Vista (and not rushing to it). After trying Vista SP1, our quick initial response has been positive. Looking much better.

  33. crescentdave –

    “incompetence or avarice”

    Or perhaps you simply haven’t considered all the variables involved in designing a secure platform. Perhaps, it comes down to hundreds of brilliant engineers and scientists having thought long and hard about these problems and tried to strike the best balance between security, compatibility, and useability – while still providing a solid platform for developers AND supporting legacy scenarios, meeting legal requirements, and actually releasing something.

    But since Apple makes fun of it in their ads, it must be a simple thing. Clearly the product of incompetence or avarice…

  34. A business that demoro 5 years for leaving and I have to wait
    The sp1 to use
    Ha nun I use this or if I pay
    So use linux
    Nun has all these things ai
    And detail nun catch virus

    brasil
    brazil

    um negocio que demoro 5 anos para sair e eu tenho que espera
    o sp1 para poder usar
    ha eu nun uso isto nem se me pagar
    por isto uso linux
    nun tem todas estas coisa ai
    e detalhe nun pega virus

  35. Andre, aposto que tu usava o Windows pirata na tua maquina e agora fica falando em Linux, trabalho com info e pra teu conhecimento varias distribuições Linux estão mandando atualizações automaticas bugadas que acabam ferrando o sistema, assim não precisa ter virús pois a propria comunidade ferra o sistema, ninguém é obrigado a usar o Windows só usa quem quer, esse papo que o Linux é melhor e blabla é só conversa pra boi dormir e pra pelado que não tem grana pra comprar o sistema.
    Parabéns a Microsoft que tem a coragem de dizer que o sistema tem problemas e vai atraz pra corrigir.

  36. Renato, eu acredito que você não tenha a menor idéia sobre o que está falando, leia mais sobre softwares. Conheço muita gente rodando Ubuntu LTS e nunca teve um úncio problema sequer desde que pos o sistema em funcionamento.
    A comunidade se esforça para alcançar o melhor que pode, e com investimento das empresas isto é possível. Todo cenário para o Linux no desktop está mudando. é simples.
    Para você que testou “desktop para camaramba” meus pesâmes, antes de você mexer com desktops Linux e UNIX já eram mais poupalres em servidores Web, e soluções fechadas de firewall do que qlq outra coisa. Informe-se primeiro antes de espalhar FUD e fazer propaganda de que não te dá nada em troca, e ainda te combra uma fortuna por um serviço clonado de outras fontes. (Sim me refiro tanto ao MAC OSX, quanto ao KDE e GNOME)

    Se você trabalha com info e pensa tão pequeno, você deveria mudar de carreira.

    Já você André,
    Não tem porque atacar os usuários de Windows deliberadamente. A Comunidade não precisa disso. Nós precisamos de “manpower” não críticos wannabes de scriptkiddies. Sobre tudo com tanto erro de formação de frase.

    Se você quer ajudar a comunidade não faça isso, filie-se a algum grupo de software livre e dê suporte aos usuários com o conhecemimento que tem.

    Vamos deixar o fanatismo de lado e encarar a verdade. Não existe sistema absoluto. Existem escolhas. Eu escolhi o Linux, a propaganda da MS não me enche os olhos. a respeito. Eu sou certificado pela Microsoft.

    Bom, mesmo é quem sabe ponderar e manipular qualquer produto do mercado ao seu favor, seja ele um mainstream ou não.

    VAMOS ESTUDAR E PARAR DE FALAR BOBAGENS OK?

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  39. not happy with sp1 there is no support for Microsoft SMART Battery Subsystem

    I have the problem, using legal final version of Vista Business, up-to-date patched, on Acer aspire 1681wlmi!
    There’s no battery icon or/and settings available. System information shows “Unknown device” with detailed information “Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Embedded Controller”, but none default driver works with this device.
    Acer has no current drivers for batteries or for Windows Vista in general. It’s really annoying, ‘cos I don’t know how much time I have on batteries? 20 minutes or 2 hours?
    Please, correct this problem ASAP. Thanks a lot.

  40. Can anyone tell me if this line

    “Improves the time to read large images by approximately 50%.”

    has some effect on Windows API’s like DrawImage or Bitmap manipulation functions.

    Kindly reply ASAP.

  41. @Steve

    I use many machines, including a linux storage device and an XP machine, and what do you know – Vista copies to both with no real problems. Huge files go very fast.

  42. Can someone please explain to me (My email is ort@yside.com) how did the SP1 improve the Disk Operations (Copying Files etc…)
    Is it by changing how the OS writes to the FileSystem ?

    Thanks.

  43. Those fussing about Vista having poor game performance need to try it with updated drivers.

    As for SP1.. it looks good so far. I installed the RC1 the day it was released. Stuff in general seems more snappier, and file copying is a ton faster.

  44. Does anyone know if there will be any VPN compatibility improves for SP1? Cisco/Linksys has been telling me that VPN will work properly once SP1 comes out for Vista, but I don’t see anything that would prove that (at least while looking at this log).

  45. To all those wondering.
    Yes, vista now plays games at equal framerates to XP. Perhaps one or two less, but I’ve noticed no difference in WoW or other games.

  46. Still no selective UAC. I’m very disappointed about that.

    All in all a lot of features I’ll never use, but a few that I will. Let’s hope for better stability. I may not be in the norm, but I do like Vista. I just can’t stand when it does stupid stuff and crashes. Even still, that’s been pretty rare. Software compatibility is a casual issue for me, but that’s also partly to blame on slow adaptation of software for Vista.

  47. 1-I use Dialup and ADSL connections and i would like to know why the connection animation status doesn’t work when you are using Dialup on Vista and it would be nice if it’s brought back to the OS in this SP update because it was a nice little useful tool back in the previous OS and it feels like they added new useful tools to the new OS and took away useful tools were in XP and without any reason ,

    2-about the Vista firewall it will be nice to add a new little tool to modify the settings for the windows firewall without having to change these policies and rules the way it’s set right now and to be quick and simple like any other firewall and to have that tool load on the system tray for quick access

  48. yes mrmckeb , i meant the tool to control the windows firewall with advanced security i know you can access it via administrative tools or even by using the MMC or WF.MSC commands for quicker access to the settings and modifying the rules but it wouldn’t be as fast as entering it from the system tray like any other firewall ( ZA firewall for an example )

    and to have a little friendly GUI wizard to modify the firewall and tweak the security for the whole OS from firewall to enable/disable the services that are not needed that way it will be faster and easier and more secure and at the end will make sure everyone running Vista have their security settings configured properly

  49. People who complain about slowness have garbage hardware. Best OS I have run, sorry haters. Some poeple don’t get it, sigh… What did you expect? Perfection? Name one thing man has made that is perfect the 1st go. Sex doesn’t count, neither does peanut M&M’s.

  50. Just a side note. I just moved to Ubuntu Linux, and I’ve never been happier. Combines the easiness of windows with the stability of linux :) So VISTA – Bye Bye :)

    <a title=”
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  51. Well, as per this release, I’ll give it credit, they are TRYING to fix the blasphemy they have created by releasing another operating system. I’m curious to when Windows will stop coming out with new and ‘better’ *Cough* OSs. Maybe they could take a look at, I don’t know, Linux… FBSD… and other unix derivatives and stop trying to recreate the wheel and stick with a single OS, such as XP (as it’s pretty) and try to make that perfect. Release more ‘options’ and allow for people to customize that without 3rd party programs.

    Linux has the right idea with the simple way of why fix it if it isn’t broken. Hopefully Windows Vista will become more of a community based os instead of the entire user base doing what Microsoft allows. I’d love to see integrated widgets and even more options for the systems development users.

    Hope this works for you all.

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