Details on Windows Vista SP2 emerge

Microsoft has begun to release some details on the enhancements that they intend to bring with Windows Vista Service Pack 2. As we reported on Neowin last week, Microsoft has released an early beta build of Vista SP2 to testers weighing in at around 290MB.

The reason why the file size is so much smaller then SP1 is that SP2 will require SP1 to be installed before upgrading and this is something Microsoft intends to carry through to the final product. This is a departure from Microsoft's past service pack philosophy that was used in Windows XP and Windows 2000, where each new package included all of the fixes from the previous versions.

Starting October 29, SP2 will be available to customers of the Technology Adoption Program. Microsoft intends a public release in the first half of 2009. After feedback from the beta program has come in, they state that they will use that data to better set a schedule for the final release.

What hasn't been talked about much is that Windows Vista SP2 will also be Windows Server 2008 SP2, embodied in a single service pack which Microsoft said, on their Springboard Series blog, "continues the single serviceability model established with the Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 RTM release. This approach helps reduce the testing and deployment complexity for our customers."

Windows Server 2008 RTM (release to manufacturing) is labeled as "Service Pack 1" in the about dialog, so when Microsoft releases SP2 it will actually be the first true service pack for that operating system.

In addition to building on top of all of the fixes and enhancements included in Windows Vista SP1 and in Windows Server 2008 RTM, Service Pack 2 will feature:

  • Support for VIA 64-bit CPUs
  • Support for Bluetooth 2.1.
  • Support for ICCD/CCID smart cards.
  • Support for native Blu-Ray media recording.
  • Windows Connect Now (WCN), a new tool to assist in connecting to Wi-Fi networks.
  • ex-FAT file system, supporting UTC timestamps to ensure correct file synchronization across time zones.
  • Windows Search 4.0 integration.
  • Improved support for resuming with active Wi-Fi connections.

Microsoft plans to retain full backwards compatibility on Windows Vista SP2 with applications that run on Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP1 and are written using public APIs. They recommend that companies who intend on adopting Windows Vista SP1, plan to deploy SP2 when it becomes available.

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It would be good to see some better (less buggy) Wi-Fi support. IMO, the Wi-Fi and networking support was a step backward in Vista. There are now extra screens to get through that don't add anything but annoyance in order to simply disable and re-enable your connection. Generally that is ALL that is needed for a bugged WiFi or even LAN connection to get working again. Windows XP had a "Repair" feature accessible through the task-tray that did this beautifully. Now, Vista has this "Diagnose and Repair" that doesn't do ****.

Windows XP SP3 required SP1 or SP2 to already be installed before it would install. SP3 refuses to install on an RTM build of XP.

Having Vista SP2 require Vista SP1 isn't a big deal.

Yes, but you can easily slipstream SP3 to an XP RTM install disc (neither SP1, nor SP2 required), and do that in less than 5 minutes without any 3rd party crap. You cannot do that with Vista, can you?

Windows XP SP3 required SP1 or SP2 to already be installed before it would install. SP3 refuses to install on an RTM build of XP.

Wrong, Windows XP SP3 does not require any previous service pack to be installed.

TRC said,
Wrong, Windows XP SP3 does not require any previous service pack to be installed.

WRONG! It requires a minimum of SP1 to install. Check your facts before you post!

TRC said,
Maybe you should do the same.
I've installed it on quite a few fresh installs of XP; it does not require SP1 to be installed first.

As have I, and it most certainly did NOT install on those systems. So all I can say is they must've changed the installer/requirements.
I know it won't slipstream into RTM media either!

Edit : Wikipedia says one thing, MS says another. Very confusing
Although service packs have, until now, been cumulative, installing SP3 on an existing installation of Windows XP requires that the computer must at least be running with Service Pack 1 installed. However, it is possible to slipstream SP3 into the Windows XP setup files at any service pack level—including the original RTM version—without any errors or issues. Slipstreaming SP3 into Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 is not supported.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP#Service_Pack_3
Source from MS : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/cc164204.aspx

And finally:
Note You must have either Windows XP Service Pack 1a or Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed in order to install Windows XP Service Pack 3.
Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322389/

I don't know how you did it, but I downloaded it on release as well and it does not install on RTM installations or media. Microsoft does NOT say it works in RTM XP. The download page simply states the actual O/S it applies to.
Anyway, enough with this discussion, it's for Vista, not XP!

I have slipstreamed it into my RTM disc with no problem at all. Using it right now. From the day I got it on release day it has worked fine without installing SP1 first. The system requirements are right there in my previous post, even Microsoft says it works on rtm XP.

Raa said
I know it won't slipstream into RTM media either!

and then Raa quoted
However, it is possible to slipstream SP3 into the Windows XP setup files at any service pack level including the original RTM version

Thank you.

The Richfielder said,
Thank you. :)

It's bizarre isn't it? Wiki says one thing, MS says another. It didn't work for me, using either method, so >shrugs< I can't see what the go is there.

I was thinking, the reason behind SP2 not including SP1 is that it's the same installer for Server and Vista. Since server is already SP1. My guess is that an eventually SP3 would include both SP2 and SP3 bits.

I can see why building slipstreamed discs are a good idea for system builders who have to install it over and over but really, what's the big deal?

How often do people re-install your OS?

virtorio said,
I can see why building slipstreamed discs are a good idea for system builders who have to install it over and over but really, what's the big deal?

How often do people re-install your OS?

Every 3 to 6 months so it stays fresh on my home systems. For my work systems I rebuild about every 2 months unless there are no major changes.

It seems quite a few people (at least here) often format their machines. I myself do sometimes, but only if something goes horribly wrong. However, I just have a Ghost image on a portable HDD to restore back to and when a new SP is released I can just make a new image after I installed the SP or simply just install the SP after restoring the image (I know some people find it a pain, but it doesn't bother me that much).

Gotenks98 said,

Every 3 to 6 months so it stays fresh on my home systems. For my work systems I rebuild about every 2 months unless there are no major changes.


My God!

Wow, a lot of wining and complaining about nothing. So, big woop that you have to load SP1 before SP2. Everyone should have SP1 loaded for Vista anyway. And there is nothing wrong with 3rd party tools to slipstream Vista. If it is to difficult for you to slipstream, then dont and install everything manually.

Unfortunately there ARE problems with 3rd party utilities. If MS wanted you to slipstream SP1, they would've made the tools to do it. Let's hope they "fix" that in SP2

"Improved support for resuming with active Wi-Fi connections"

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
I hope this one fixes a little glitch I see all the time with my laptop. If I put it to sleep, while on a wi-fi
connection, wake it up later, on a different wi-fi network, or subnet, it TAKES FOREVER, (if at all) to
notice the change, and link up to the new network. A lot of times, it only shows "local connection only".
I've found if I turn off the wi-fi card BEFORE I put it to sleep, then wake it up, turn wi-fi back on, it
works perfectly. I thought it might be some tweaks I did, but I have a barebones install on another
drive that does the same thing.

im pretty excited for this
vista runs like a dream on my desktop
my laptop though which is new..takes forever to boot and somet hings like file transfers can reduce it to a crawl
if they are focusing on performance then im happy

Looks good IMHO. The WiFi stuff could be interesting. Given I have two desktops only the whole slip streaming thing doesn't bother me. I'm happy to leave windows update going.

[jk]
oh wait since sp2 will be released

that mean 7 would sucks more ... waiting for 7 sp2
[/jk]

lol

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