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March 21, 2008

Microsoft mostly releases Vista SP1

Posted by David Hunter at 10:53 AM ET.

Sometimes I think that what Microsoft’s Vista operating system really needs is an exorcist given the amount of unnatural occurrences plaguing it, but what it got this week was a disorderly rollout of Service Pack 1:

[Y]ou can now download Windows Vista SP1 via Windows Update. For those of you eager to receive the benefits of Windows Vista SP1 – you can now do so! We’ve seen quite a bit of questions in our comments so we want to communicate as much as possible surrounding Windows Vista SP1 and today’s release to Windows Update as we can.

For those of you happy to wait – sit tight because SP1 will start downloading to PCs automatically beginning in mid-April (Remember, this happens only if you have your Windows Update configured to automatically download updates and SP1 will automatically download but not automatically install).  But if you want to get the benefit of a year’s worth of improvements right now, go check Windows Update today…(Hit the Start Menu, All Programs, and select Windows Update).

If in running Windows Update you do not see Windows Vista SP1 listed, there are a number of good reasons for this (Eight in fact, see the whole list).

And there’s the rub as everything from an installation of a wrong language to a troublesome device driver could potentially hold up the parade. Microsoft says they are working on these problems and have recalled last month’s prerequisite Servicing Stack Update (KB937287) which caused some Vista systems to continually reboot, but the whole thing has a chancy feel when what Microsoft wants out of SP1 is an impression of solidity.

Adding to to the uncertainty were the mixed messages concerning retail availability of SP1 in boxed copies of Vista and on OEM hardware. It appears that Vista with SP1 is now available at some retailers including Amazon, but OEM PCs with SP1 won’t start showing up until April. As for current users that don’t want or whose connectivity can’t take a huge download from the Internet, the plans for a DVD copy are still up in the air.

The puzzling thing is that Microsoft knows how to do this right, but can never seem to put it all together for Vista. As for SP1 being what it takes to get the vaunted enterprise customers on board the Vista train, add at least 6 months for them to qualify Vista with SP1 for internal use.

Update (March 23): See “So Microsoft, Why Can’t I Get Windows Vista SP1?” for an example of some SP1 driver incompatibility pain and yes, PC OEMs share the blame with Microsoft.

Filed under Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows Vista

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