The 3rd feature pack for Vista is arriving...

Microsoft will release a new Windows Feature Pack for Storage which contains 3 technologies:

  • Active Storage Platform: enables the Windows platform to restrict access to portable devices (such as a USB Flash Device) via a certificate or password authentication based on the IEEE 1667 standard specification.
  • Image Mastering API update for Blu-Ray media: enables the Windows platform to do master style optical burning on Blu-Ray media.
  • Smart Card Driver: provides support for new form factors, such as ICCD/CCID.

Windows Feature Pack for Storage will be available for the following operating systems: Windows Vista, Windows Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008, Windows XP SP2+, Windows Server 2003 SP1+. Smartcard on XP is only available in 32 bit.

The Windows Feature pack for Storage won't be the first Vista feature pack. Microsoft has released, in addition to the previously mentioned optical feature pack, the Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless and the Windows Media Center TV Pack.

Feature packs are a way for Microsoft to get new features to users without making them wait for the next major Windows release. Unlike Service Packs, which typically are more about bug fixes than new features, feature packs are, as the name suggests, the delivery vehicle for new, between-release, features.

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34 Comments

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I have to give it to M$, they certainly know how to get people talking about a few new features that would really be useful in a business environment.

I don't see why people are complaining.. if you don't want it.. then don't download it.. simple as that!

That's the beauty of 'feature packs'... they're optional... some people might find them useful.. others might not.

I like how they make service packs for fixes now, and feature packs for new features.

?????

It's most likely :if you don't want it then don't download it but if you want it then you CAN'T download it (only if you are a OEM).


Do you remember when Microsoft released the SP1 for Vista? First it was made available to OEMs, then Microsoft released to the public

RTFA: "Currently, end-user customers cannot contact Microsoft to obtain the update and cannot download the update from a Microsoft Web site."

Since what you wrote doesn't jibe with what the article says and you're not providing any references to back up what you're saying, I'm just going to assume that you're talking out of your ass. You have a real nice day now, y'hear?

I can appreciate additional features and functionality but it's absolutely pathetic that they call THIS a feature pack.

The TV pack is a great update.
I think Microsoft made a bad decision by making it OEM only. I would have gladly paid for the update. Don't want to get a new computer just to get the update.
Fortunately, I found a leaked build on EngadgetHD forum. I am very happy I was able to get my hands on it. Greatest update to Media Center ever! :P

(tiagosilva29 said @ #9)

Well, that's messed up.

Not necessarily.... they just didn't think it was worth it to do anything for x64.... I know, it sucks, but I think they qualified x64 as 'not worth it'.

As someone who purchased Vista (with a new computer) I am appalled by this attitude.

Having said that, I upgraded-graded that horrible Vista bloat-ware to WinXP so on second thoughts... "Quite frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!" :nuts:

(HappyAndyK said @ #5)
This is not something most users would need anyway.

Folks have pretty much, almost given up on the Ultimate Extras. :suspicious:


And yet, it has nothing to do with Ultimate Extras.

What a nooob!

Get your facts straight... "Feature Packs" are different than "Ultimate Extras"... don't post anything unless you know what you're saying!

What makes this rather ironic is the fact that only OEM's get access to, and can distribute, these feature packs. That means any retail users are basically fobbed off. Microsoft's doing themselves a bit of a dis-service with that I think

Seriously... what good are any of these things going to do if we can't even download them? Why not just go back to distributing them through service packs? I love having something to look forward to in a service pack.

These "Feature Packs" are an absolute lie. Only Microsoft would dump money into something whose distribution is restricted.

We are currently not making this update available to end-user customers through typical distribution channels. Currently, end-user customers cannot contact Microsoft to obtain the update and cannot download the update from a Microsoft Web site.

That pretty much sums it up. We made it...but you don't get to have it.

Sounds like what they did with Windows 95. They added things like FAT32 and USB support into 95b, where original 95 owners were stuck with no USB support and FAT16 filesystems. End users could not get the updates, as it was handed only to OEMs.

well this isn't really the same, these features are much less important than USB. all features that are even remotely important such EFI are added in service packs

(markjensen said @ #2.1)
Sounds like what they did with Windows 95. They added things like FAT32 and USB support into 95b, where original 95 owners were stuck with no USB support and FAT16 filesystems. End users could not get the updates, as it was handed only to OEMs.

actually windows95 had usb support, all u had to do was download osr2.1 or 2.5 =] along also with fat32 support in 96 hrmm i take that bak after doing a bit more reading :P only avail on win95b or c

(DKAngel said @ #2.3)
... hrmm i take that bak after doing a bit more reading :P only avail on win95b or c
:P
I am an old fart, and remember when Windows came out, ushering the Age of the GUI for most home computers. I remember being stuck with an original 95 that I could not update (unless I re-bought a full 95, as an "upgrade" would fail, since you can't upgrade 95 to 95)

(DKAngel said @ #2.3)
actually windows95 had usb support, all u had to do was download osr2.1 or 2.5 =] along also with fat32 support in 96 hrmm i take that bak after doing a bit more reading :P only avail on win95b or c

Umm no, OSR2 stands for OEM Service Release 2, only available to OEMs, and could not upgrade older versions of Win95.

i manage 1000 machines (please.. im not trolling i actually do!) and these machines need USB port lockdown but we cant as some peripherals are usb based. so the first feature would be of great help!

second feature will be useful for music artists?? or small businesses??

thir feature again will be useful for business class users. there is always a need for new devices.