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Vista SP1 Released to Manufacturing 397

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the help-is-on-the-way dept.
Reverend Ninja writes "According to the Windows Vista team blog, Windows Vista SP1 has been released to manufacturing. It appears we'll have to wait until mid-March to play with it though, as the team cites that they want everyone to have a 'great install experience'. 'Service Pack 1 brings new improvements that are based on feedback we heard from our customers. It further improves the reliability and performance of Windows Vista. The information we collect thanks to tools like the Customer Experience Improvement Program, Online Crash Analysis, and Windows Error Reporting help us learn about where and when customers are having issues with Windows Vista and the applications that run on it. Since these issues have a direct impact on our customers' experiences, we've invested time and energy to make this better. While Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is an important milestone, we will continue to invest in the continuous improvement process.'"
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Vista SP1 Released to Manufacturing

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  • by dfn_deux (535506) <datsun510&gmail,com> on Monday February 04, 2008 @05:58PM (#22298456) Homepage
    Notable changes in SP1 [microsoft.com] Hot fixes and patches rolled up in SP1 [microsoft.com] Release Notes document [microsoft.com]
    Unlike most of the chatter I've read on /. I've been mostly satisifed with my Vista install so far. The only real problems I've experienced is the repackaging of some of the SDK tools such as graphedit which used to be available as standalone, but the 64 bit vista specific version is only available as part of a multi-gig sdk download... Also some vendors have been slow to ship good drivers although I suspect that MS requiring a 64 bit for the "vista compatible" label and not requiring a 32 bit version will in time result in a better driver base.
  • Re:Removed the DRM? (Score:3, Informative)

    by dhavleak (912889) on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:03PM (#22298548)
    Time to do some FUD-busting ;)

    Everything you've read about Vista's DRM is wrong:
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=299 [zdnet.com]
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=304 [zdnet.com]
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=309 [zdnet.com]

    The nutshell version. If you're mad at Vista for including HDCP support -- Leopard, the PS3, or any HD-DVD or BluRay player on the market has it as well. Get pissed at the entire industry or don't bother getting pissed at all.
  • by Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:05PM (#22298584)
    Why do you need a 'great install experience' when you can just force the update on your userbase?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:07PM (#22298606)
    I performed the SP1 RC Refresh 2 installation on Saturday it went smoothly and without any hitches. Vista performance seems a little perkier (although TBH, I never had significant performance issues before hand either).

    In any case, I dunno how much more work this SP will need since I haven't experienced a single problem with it during or after installation.

    Next weekend I'm going to try the XP Service Pack 3 installation and see how that goes :)

    -AC
  • by fishthegeek (943099) on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:08PM (#22298642) Journal
    and it doesn't appear to have helped reliability or performance as far as we can see. We still have TrendNet wireless nics that will not work using Vista drivers on a factory install of the OS. We still have file copy operations that should be timed with a calendar. We have Vistafied versions of applications that generate interestingly cryptic "unable to assign resource" errors.

    I hope that any changes between RC1 and RTM are actually going to deliver on those promises they keep making.
  • Re:Removed the DRM? (Score:5, Informative)

    by siyavash (677724) on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:15PM (#22298760) Journal
    Windows Vista has "Support" for DRM, which means content creators such as music and movie makers can CHOOSE to use DRM... IF they want to. HOWEVER, there is no "DRM FORCE" on the user. Which means you CAN STILL use your downloaded mp3s and other files ( porn ) perfectly OK with Windows Vista.

    If you dislike DRM, don't buy from the content creators which put DRM in their content. That has nothing to do with an Operating System.

    Educate yourself.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:17PM (#22298804)
    To speak to the question about performance: Vista SP1 is still certainly slower than Windows XP. Our group did purchase some high-end testing software and that does show that SP1 performs a little bit better than RTM (and not that magical 10% that people notice; much lower than that). However, it does noticeably improve battery life (on the order of 30 minutes for many users).
  • Re:Removed the DRM? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dhavleak (912889) on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:20PM (#22298844)

    Didn't bother to read the links before posting a rebuttal right? :)

    Your media tank does indeed provide an HDCP path. Either that, or when the ICT bit is set on media shipped in 2010 onwards, your playback will degrade to roughly 950x550.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:22PM (#22298872)
    I liked this part best:

    SP1 also includes 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.

    Thank god they fixed those 'system stability' issues....
  • by Bryansix (761547) on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:34PM (#22299026) Homepage
    If you have ever taken a business class (which I have) you will know that Continual Business Process Improvement is not just a buzz-phrase but instead it's a way of life and a way of doing business. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality_management [wikipedia.org]) It means that you constantly look to improve the quality of the product, process etc. in such a way that improvments are realized and then you improve some more.

    A good example of this is my form I use for processing new employees. When I first made it I left out some things. I wouldn't make sense for me to keep trying to make that old form work. So I changed it and added in the things I left off. Then we added another login which I needed to make sure I created. Therefore I changed it again. Each iteration becomes more streamlined and accurate.
  • by Bryansix (761547) on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:44PM (#22299180) Homepage
    Actual evidence, no. Anecdotal evidence, yes. The Graphic designer here installed Vista (that was a mistake) and it brought his computer to it's knees. The problem was in the indexing service. I doubt they have fixed this but I don't know because he reverted back to XP. Also note that the actual minimum requirements are for the Home Basic version which doesn't actually have any of the "features and improvements" so touted by Microsoft. Therefore if you have the minimum requirements but not the requirements for Ultimate then you are much better off sticking with XP.
  • by trolltalk.com (1108067) on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:50PM (#22299286) Homepage Journal

    At least with cars, they keep the same name from year to year, just "bump up the version number".

    Look at (just some of) the different names Windows has gone through:

    1. Windows for Workgroups (3.11)
    2. Windows 95 (3.95 - 4.0)
    3. Windows 98 (4.x)
    4. Windows 98 Second Edition (4.x)
    5. Windows Millenium Edition (4.x)
    6. Windows New Technology
    7. Windows XP (5.0)
    8. Windows Vista (6.0)
    ... and that's not counting the different versions (Home, Basic, Pro, Advanced, Whatever ...)

    On the open source front, how do you expect people to take you seriously when you say "You should try Werewolf" (fedora 8)? Its bad enough we have weird-sounding names like Mandriva, Linspire (or whatever they're calling it nowadays), and Ubuntu without making it worse ...

  • by Your.Master (1088569) on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:54PM (#22299334)
    RTFA

    He's referring to the fact that some drivers still have issues, and systems with those drivers will not have a push install even if they opted into it. Until those issues are fixed. Hence, great install experience.
  • Re:It's out. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @06:56PM (#22299386)
    oh come on, how many slashdotters can there be using vista? :)
  • Re:Removed the DRM? (Score:4, Informative)

    by KillerBob (217953) on Monday February 04, 2008 @07:02PM (#22299454)

    x264 720p/1080p HD-DVD & BluRay rips


    So does Vista. Even Vista Media Center plays them. Assuming you've been smart and, you know, installed the codecs. Just need one, actually: ffdshow. If you want to go for broke, you can also install the Combined Community Codec Pack (CCCP). Throw those at it, and Vista will play every file I have, including the MKVs and the OGG/Vorbis files.

    And unlike your box, my Vista-based media center will actually play BluRay discs, as well as rips. And it'll play them at full 1080p through the HDMI or, if I prefer, the DVI output on my computer. Both of which support full HDCP. (I'm using the DVI, with the coaxial Dolby Digital output going directly to my decoder at the moment. I'll go HDMI when I replace my 24" WUXGA+ LCD display with a 46" HDTV in the near future)

    The FUD about the DRM in Vista is completely overblown. It's in there, but it's not going to prevent you from viewing pirated content if that's your thing. Vista doesn't complain at all about playing videos or songs in my collection. The DRM is in there so that I can play my legitimately purchased content at full resolution, which is something you can't do with your box.
  • Re:Removed the DRM? (Score:4, Informative)

    by dhavleak (912889) on Monday February 04, 2008 @07:20PM (#22299750)
    Apple has already implemented HDCP in Leopard: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/aluminum-and-glass-a-review-of-the-new-imac.ars [arstechnica.com]
    From the link: "There's also HDCP support built in, so future support for Blu-ray and HD DVD is not out of the question." I had read a more direct reference on Apple's site but I couldn't find that link right now.

    Please don't interpret this as an anti-Apple rant though. Rather, as I said in my original post, get pissed at the entire industry, or nobody at all.

    Apple never had a choice in the matter, and neither did MS. If you want your system to play HD-DVD or BluRay media once the ICT bit is set, you have to have HDCP support otherwise the playback resolution has to be degraded.

    Whether you implement this in software or hardware (firmware) of course, is entirely up to you.
  • Re:50% Faster? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ashridah (72567) on Monday February 04, 2008 @07:28PM (#22299840)
    Yeah, that particularly overly inflated number will be adjusted to have a sane estimate and performance [technet.com] in SP1.

    It's true that pre-SP1 had issues with copying lots of small files in some situations, but most of the other performance problems were often perceived, not actual, problems, since XP did things like closing the copy dialog before it had actually written the last byte to disk, for instance.

  • Re:Removed the DRM? (Score:3, Informative)

    by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Monday February 04, 2008 @07:38PM (#22299988) Journal
    It allows me to pay 10.00 USD per month to have access to a library of hundred of thousands of songs.
  • by (H)elix1 (231155) * <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Monday February 04, 2008 @07:50PM (#22300130) Homepage Journal
    You might be pleasantly shocked by XP-64. I've got an MSDN subscription, so have pick of the litter when it comes to operating systems for kicking around. When I tried XP-64 June of 2005, it was a bit rough. I had 4G of RAM in my work / gaming box and figured it was worth just running the 32-bit version of XP and letting the OS round down to 3.5G.

    Parts for my new box showed up this week. This time, 8G of RAM, a dual core (E8400) CPU, nVidia 780i SLI mainboard, and nVidia 8800gts (512M). Since I went nVidia for chipset and video card, all of the 'box' hardware had drivers for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of XP, Vista, and Server 2003.

    Gave Vista64 (ultimate) a try. Gah...

    First, while I'm sure SP1 will probably fix this, the installer failed with 8G of RAM. Pulled out three 2G modules and all extra HDD's, and was able to continue on. OS installed, drivers picked up all of the mainboard/graphics hardware in a reasonable default mode. Had wired network access at that point, so downloaded the current drivers, which picked up all of the 'core' hardware. Plugged in the other HDD's and changed the SATA cabling. Blue screens again. Pull out the drives, put the SATA cables back in for the main drive, blue screen again. Took several reboots before I realized the Plextor DVDR (PX-712A) would cause a blue screen when the tray closed with a disk. Popped in a standard IDE DVDR, and got the rest of the system up and running.

    All the development tools and apps worked. Games (CS:Source, Supreme Commander, BFME2) worked OK. A few glitches in BFME on a long game.

    The final nail was USB devices. Figured I would blog about he new kit, so I plugged in my USB cord into my camera. Vista recognized it was a camera, but failed to do anything else. No drivers. Same went for *every* USB thumbdrive I owned. (Pics here [multiply.com])

    Gave up, after much messing about.

    XP-64 installed with 8G of RAM installed. Did not get the Ethernet running, but did mount a thumbdrive without issues. Installed the core set of mainboard/graphics drivers, did a windows update, and everything just worked. Not a single blue screen or crash under XP-64 so far.

    Server 2003-64 is also running rock solid. Just work stuff on that drive, however....
  • Re:Removed the DRM? (Score:3, Informative)

    by jacksonj04 (800021) <nick@nickjackson.me> on Monday February 04, 2008 @07:55PM (#22300192) Homepage
    No it isn't. It's a mechanism by which you can prove that you have permission to play media which may require that permission. There's absolutely nothing which stops you playing un-DRMed media. Got some old AVIs? They'll play. That shelf full of CDs? No problem. All those MP3s you've been collecting? They'll still work.

    Also, your "Digital Restriction Management" is about as useful as "Winblows" or "Micro$oft". Grow up.
  • Re:Performance. (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:10PM (#22301130)
    The BSOD with more than 3GB RAM you are having is usually due to specific combinations of Chipset and SLI congifurations. I have seen it a few times on systems I have built up.

    Check out:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929777 [microsoft.com]

    Install the hotfix and give it a try.
  • by Kawahee (901497) on Monday February 04, 2008 @09:18PM (#22301210) Homepage Journal

    Anyone have bets as to how long before a significant program of widespread use is broken
    That's quite tongue-in-cheek since an xorg-server-core update broke half a dozen applications of widespread use in about 5 seconds [launchpad.net]. Microsoft has a much more thorough testing process, and a much larger testing base. The public beta method Microsoft uses means that nobody should have trouble with the service pack once it's installed correctly. Also, one of the ideas behind Vista SP1 is increased compatibility:

    Application compatibility, too, improves significantly with SP1. While this area includes consumer-oriented applications, incompatible enterprise applications were the big deployment blockers over the past year. In the past year, Microsoft and its partners have remediated over 150 enterprise application blockers: These are applications that previously prevented one or more corporations from upgrading to Vista.
    D'oh!

    Beyond that, has there been any actual basis showing that SP1 (of the testers) adds any form of significant performance enhancements?
    Paul Thurrott's Vista SP1 FAQ [winsupersite.com]

    If you read the whitepaper (a [windowsvistablog.com], b [microsoft.com]) for Vista SP1 performance wasn't high up on to-do list. Personally, Vista runs fine for me (except for file copying, where Microsoft fucked up big time). I put Vista on a Duron 850 with 512mb of RAM for shits and giggles, and it ran like a dog with three legs. I put Windows XP on there and it ran acceptably. I run Vista on a 1.8Ghz dual core machine with 1GB of RAM and it runs plenty fast.
  • Re:Removed the DRM? (Score:4, Informative)

    by jhol13 (1087781) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @06:12AM (#22304700)
    You should not make that bet.

    There are even now flat TVs (lcd/plasma) sold which do not have HDCP. It is easy to see, if there is no "HD ready" sticker then it does not have HDCP (at least so in Finland).

    My plasma was bought 2003. I doubt there were any HDCP capable TV's back then.
  • by wouter (103085) on Tuesday February 05, 2008 @08:18AM (#22305208) Homepage
    Interesting. I tried Kubuntu the other day with KDE4, and noticed that on a machine which runs Vista without much worry (P4, 1GB RAM, speed index of 2), KDE4 could not give me similar graphic results.

    I haven't tried Compiz on this machine...

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