Vista SP1 Analysed in Depth

It's no secret that there's a leaked beta of Vista SP1 floating around, but no-one yet has really taken the time to analyse it in detail to find out what it really does. I made it my mission this weekend to trawl through the registry and file changes in SP1 to find out exactly what SP1 does.

First up, I can say that there is a very noticeable performance increase. It is obvious that since Microsoft released Vista to manufacturing, it has been optimising the code ever since. There's far less hard drive thrashing and in general the system seems much smoother and more responsive. Amusingly, the build of SP1 we saw (which in this beta comes fully integrated into a 3.2GB Vista install DVD, rather than as a standalone update) still has Microsoft's internal network shares embedded as the source of the updates...

News source: APCMag.com

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After SP1 people will still complain and say they are going to wait for SP2.

That said Vista is pretty decent upgrade so long as you have enough memory and plan on using newer apps which I do so it has been rather painless.

PS: For business users there is no reason to upgrade from Windows XP, offices are still filled with them and nobody feels compelled to upgrade at all.

After SP1 people will still complain and say they are going to wait for SP2.

It depends on what SP1 fixes or breaks in the process. I've said I won't touch Vista again until SP1 comes out. If SP1 makes it worth while then I'm Vista bound otherwise I'll stay on XP.

TRC said,
Not a very helpful reply oido. You can install it from within Vista, no need for a clean install.

Tried it and you have to do a clean install you cant do a upgrade.

Oh, I was talking about when it's eventually released, you can install service packs without reinstalling Windows. This is leaked, nobody is supposed to have this. I would honestly wait until a properly tested and official version is released.

Well, there it is. If SP1 really offers a performance boost like this guy seems to perceive, then Vista sales will probably jump. How many thousands of posters on the forums said that they would wait for SP1?

I hope it really does deliver.

Helba said,
Well, there it is. If SP1 really offers a performance boost like this guy seems to perceive, then Vista sales will probably jump. How many thousands of posters on the forums said that they would wait for SP1?

I hope it really does deliver.

A bunch of people always say "I'm going to wait for SP1 before I even touch it."

50% of those people don't even know what a "SP1" is.
25% of those people think it just sounds good/smart/cool

the other 25% are probably business/corporate customers, or actual people who have compatibility problems and have tested pre-SP1 builds with their software and realized what they need to run won't run correctly...

Anyone else tired of hearing every noob say this?

phiberoptik said,

A bunch of people always say "I'm going to wait for SP1 before I even touch it."

50% of those people don't even know what a "SP1" is.
25% of those people think it just sounds good/smart/cool

the other 25% are probably business/corporate customers, or actual people who have compatibility problems and have tested pre-SP1 builds with their software and realized what they need to run won't run correctly...

Anyone else tired of hearing every noob say this?


I just love how you pulled those numbers out of your ass.
Now if only you could get your head out of there, too.

phiberoptik said,
A bunch of people always say "I'm going to wait for SP1 before I even touch it."

50% of those people don't even know what a "SP1" is.
25% of those people think it just sounds good/smart/cool

the other 25% are probably business/corporate customers, or actual people who have compatibility problems and have tested pre-SP1 builds with their software and realized what they need to run won't run correctly...

Anyone else tired of hearing every noob say this?

You know a lot about that "25%" that just says something to be cool, don't you?

phiberoptik said,

A bunch of people always say "I'm going to wait for SP1 before I even touch it."

50% of those people don't even know what a "SP1" is.
25% of those people think it just sounds good/smart/cool

the other 25% are probably business/corporate customers, or actual people who have compatibility problems and have tested pre-SP1 builds with their software and realized what they need to run won't run correctly...

Anyone else tired of hearing every noob say this?

And where are the 50% of those people who thinks Vista is a bunch of Bloatware?

A somewhat positive article about Microsoft? ON APCMAG? I better go check the temp at hell and if (spider)pigs started flying yet. What next, Slashdot Vista giveaway?

I seen a lot of video fixes in the list in the article. I thought all those problems was in the Nvidia drivers? Maybe Nvidia isn't fully to blame after all? For example the restarting during game play, I've had that one with some of the older Nvidia drivers. Or the blank screen for a period of time. I had thought all that was Nvidia's fault.

Used to on some bootups, right after the desktop comes up it would go blank and then come back. A balloon would come up saying that a certain Nvidia file stopped working and Vista had recovered from it. I haven't seen this since applying the patches two weeks ago. I guess I owe Nvidia an apology since I was blaming them for it, lol.

Will it be possible to slipstream service packs in Vista? With XP and earlier you had a bare i386 directory on the CD that could be updated, but Vista uses "images" instead.

In mid-2004, Microsoft scrapped everything that they were doing with Vista and started over from scratch, such that when they released it to manufacturing, it had only been under development for approximately 2.25 years. It was still a beta operating system when it was released and Microsoft ignored all of the beta testers to rush it to manufacturing, most likely because they had sold upgrade contracts to their corporate customers that were expiring at the end of 2007 and if they did not deliver new software, their corporate customers would most likely not have signed new ones, making them more likely to migrate to alternative operating systems.

This is why people are having so many problems with Windows Vista, as it is the equivalent of a beta operating system. When SP1 is released, Windows Vista will be the equivalent of a RC operating system and when SP2 is released, Windows Vista should be the equivalent of a released operating system that has had many of the bugs that were not found during its development fixed through a Service Pack.

Not really, usually Windows has a 2 / 3 year development period - so your reasoning that because Vista has had 2.25 years developing time means it is only beta quality makes no sense. Other things which are glaring issues give it a beta-like quality.

Anyway from history you see that the initial releases of OS'es have problems. You just need to wait for them to mature - like XP has done.

I'm with the parent - not because of the timescale involved (although I'm sure it didn't help), but more because I installed both public betas, saw it coming along nicely, then suddenly RC1 popped out of nowhere and I wondered when I'd missed Beta 3.
Vista was definitely rushed out the door due to deep-pocketed corporations getting fidgety. It could have been a really good OS (read: what MS were promising back in 2004 after the reset), but as has happened many times before it was rushed. I agree that the usual solution with Windows OS's is "waiting for them to mature", but wouldn't it be nice if the start of the "maturing" was before it got pushed out the door, rather than after?

Shining Arcanine said,
In mid-2004, Microsoft scrapped everything that they were doing with Vista and started over from scratch, such that when they released it to manufacturing, it had only been under development for approximately 2.25 years.
The actual coding of a large project is only part of the problem though and alot of work they had done would have been retained even if it needed to be recoded. Its still fair to call it a 5-6 year release..I mean you can use that arguement then to say Duke Nukem forever isnt late, they just restarted on a new engine 3 times.

Smigit said,
The actual coding of a large project is only part of the problem though and alot of work they had done would have been retained even if it needed to be recoded. Its still fair to call it a 5-6 year release..I mean you can use that arguement then to say Duke Nukem forever isnt late, they just restarted on a new engine 3 times.

How can something be late anyway when there never was a release date set?

phiberoptik said,

How can something be late anyway when there never was a release date set?

huh? They did announce release dates. They said it was going to be released by the end of 2005 and quite famously said it had been pushed back to 2006. I'm quite sure the 2005 was announced as it was a fairly big deal in the media for customers and MS at the time. And even if they didnt announce the date, surely you dont need one to realise that this was infact late.

Anyone know if there has been any noticeable changes in media center? Devs have confirmed in the past that the remaining screens that are identical to xp media center will be updated in the next release, other than that they have been very silent.

There was some beta on connect for media centre improvments a while ago that you could apply to, but I believe that the testers have been thrown under NDA since. That said, leaked info said that nothing much has gone out so far.....
I think MS's plan was to merge it into SP1 but I don't think that's happening now

Don't forget they've also probably got to write a new installer for Vista's SP, as its completely different than XP/2003. That itself will require heavy testing so it was probably easier for them at the time just to bundle up a new vista image

shame it's only a iso, was hoping for a installer, wonder why they just did this iso thing? they do one for xpsp3 but not for vistasp1, blah!!

RanCorX2 said,
shame it's only a iso, was hoping for a installer, wonder why they just did this iso thing? they do one for xpsp3 but not for vistasp1, blah!!
It will be released as an .exe, just for testing purposes, the ISO was easier

RanCorX2 said,
shame it's only a iso, was hoping for a installer, wonder why they just did this iso thing? they do one for xpsp3 but not for vistasp1, blah!!
Quit moaning about how this internal microsoft update is packaged since you shouldn't have it anyway. The public beta and final versions will be released in the traditional way.

TCLN Ryster said,
Quit moaning about how this internal microsoft update is packaged since you shouldn't have it anyway. The public beta and final versions will be released in the traditional way.

not moaning, anyway I can say what i like, within reason of course.

A performance increase? That's what I was hoping for, as Vista is just too sluggish for me to use it daily. I don't suppose there is a 64bit version floating out there?

There likely will be some serious performance increases in the x64 version (though that is my speculation). I think Microsoft is going to have to begin to seriously concentrate on the x86-64platform given the limits of the x86-32 architecture.

It is also going to require optimized drivers and the price of memory to come down as well. Worse, until there are a number of 64bit applications, most people will just be using it as an environment in which they have access to more than 4gigs of memory. Still, to take advantage of most of the real advantages of 64bit applications will have to be at the very least recompiled, if not rewritten.