Windows Vista turns 4

It was 4 years ago today that Windows Vista was released to manufacturing. Little did we know then that Vista would soon become a scar on Microsoft's record and would be quickly over shadowed by Windows 7 only a couple of years later.  

While many will say that Vista is perfectly usable after SP1 was deployed, for many, the damage was already done.  A clever campaign by Apple quickly soured Vista's image and the rest is history.  But how did Microsoft announce the release of Vista 4 years ago, what did they have to say about the platform?  Microsoft stated:

Release to manufacturing signifies the completion of our development work and the start of the next phase for Windows Vista. Windows Vista is the highest-quality version of Windows that we’ve ever produced. We’ve had more people test more builds than previous development cycles, and the result is that we received more feedback than ever before.

Whatever your thoughts may be on Vista, you cant ignore that it was the building block for Windows 7. And without Vista, we wouldn't have Windows 7, which is Microsoft's fastest selling OS in the company's history. 

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I had more problems on my same hardware with Windows 7 than Windows Vista tho... Interesting enough, Windows 7 was not noticable difference on performance wise either. I think it had to do something wrong with current hardware configurations or misconfigurations.

Windows Vista was a huge gamble to take but it paid off in the end. Windows 7 is everything that Windows Vista should have been.

Some scar.. hardly noticeable against Windows ME. It's a PR scar. Not a software scar. There's nothing wrong with Vista Sp2 and so far way better than 7. Never have a problem with Vista, 7 on the other hand ruined a drive and seems to be working on ruining my brothers.. Keeps popping the old black screen at the front Chkdsk. Even though it shut down properly. Also crash quite often on another laptop. Freaking nitemare. But Vista biz.. No problem and very good support from windows (not dell)

Windows 7 is basically all flash while Vista wasn't. It's the same OS. Windows 98 vs Windows 98SE or the tweaked Windows 95 for USB support.

I've installed every leaked build of Longhorn when it was popular and every legit build that was published through my MSDN subscription. I remember when Microsoft "promised" a tech refresh for Longhorn build 4051 but instead had to get it(build 4053) through other channels. Vista was a disappointment in my book because it didn't follow through with all the promises that Longhorn was supposed to have.

I remember when I did a fresh install of Vista it would run really slow on x64 3gb machine, and performance wasn't really fixed until SP1 were I did notice a huge speed increase. But by far the best speed improvement I found was when I installed the first leaked Windows 7 build, and to be honest I haven't looked back sense.

The biggest complaint I have right now is with WinFX. I'm still using C# .net forms for any tool development I do, because there really isn't a nice user interface for developing any 3D user interfaces with WinFX/Silverlight.

Anyway back on topic, the only thing I wish they kept with Windows 7 was the Milestone 2 theme.

RangerLG said,

It hasn't gone anywhere.

Yep, Vista or 7 not much difference. PR difference yes. Same OS though. Now Windows ME. ewe..

Am I like the only person who prefers the UI of vista to the UI of windows 7, i run xp, vista and windows 7 on dual boot for XP and 7 on my pc, and my laptop has vista. I hate the Task bar its fuggly and find it very confusing even after using windows 7 from pre rtm in beta form, and I don't use the snap function because ive got Dual monitors.

Okay I know there's the obvious speed and stability improvements but im talking purely on a UI level.

The worst part about Vista was the fact that copying files were dog slow compared to XP. This is evident even in the eyes of the consumer which was the primary target for this consumer rich OS.

But I held on to it, only because I loved Media Center so much. And glass was pretty (but not awesome like Win7's Aero glass now is!)

When MS said that their work on Vista was going to become their ground for OS developments for the next 10 years they weren't kidding. Windows 7 is just one generation above Vista's foundation and look how great it already is. MS has at least 7 more years to further refine this ground, until a new desktop OS paradigm comes to place (or cloud becomes ubiquitous by 2017!)

Only wrong thing on Vista was release year. Hardware was not ready for it and beside this small anoyance is Vista more mature and better in many ways than Windows 7.

6205 said,
Only wrong thing on Vista was release year. Hardware was not ready for it and beside this small anoyance is Vista more mature and better in many ways than Windows 7.

More mature , that it is. Windows 7 is more flash. And more annoying because of the flash. Good way to get a migraine. Especially when a popup window with a virus shows up. It's easy to close in Vista, in 7 it pops up behind the window and you have to go select it. By then the malware has already gotten on your computer.

Windows Vista was necessary for Windows 7 to happen. And I'm glad it did.

What went wrong? A lot.
In the end though, if you have a beefy system running Vista it's pretty damn OKAY imo.

I had Vista from the day it released, and even on a mid-performance laptop, I didn't have any issues or problems with it other than the file transfer speed bug. It was a great OS, and is still going strong on the same laptop which my 12 year old son now uses daily. The same install, 4 years later, which still works perfectly.

I'm sure that for every 1 person that shouts out how bad Vista was for them, there are a hundred people that were more than happy with it. It's human nature that when things work, people aren't so great at shouting praises, and why should they when something does what it's expected to do.

Vista was the stepping stone to Windows 7, which is a fantastic OS, so really you have to be grateful that it existed to smooth the way in the first place.

"While many will say that Vista is perfectly usable after SP1 was deployed"

SP1 has less to do with Vista becoming usable than the push to get ATI and NVidia, and some Sound Card MFR drivers up to speed. If you install Vista RTM with later video drivers for example, the reliability and performance is equal to SP1, as there were virtually no performance changes in SP1.

People didn't understand that Vista's WDDM and other driver stack changes was like dealing with a different OS all together. Instead of NVidia and ATI updating the XPDM drivers that they had years to refine, the WDDM required a complete rewrite of the drivers and also using them and the hardware in new ways and then optimizing based on the new concepts.

If you timeline Vista, and look to about June of 07, Microsoft dug in deep and worked with ATI and NVidia to help wrap their heads around the changes. It was then about Sept of 07 that drivers came from both companies that finally were consistently as fast or faster than the optimized XP drivers, and this is also about the time that gamers were able to see some of the benefits of the WDDM and Vista started to gain some credibility, although the poor video performance issues had already tarnished Vista.

The WDDM designed for Vista (also part of the video model used in the XBox 360) was a massive leap not only for the Windows platform, but a generation ahead of what anyone was doing on any OS. (This is also why it was sad that the drivers were so poor, as a very fast console, the XBox 360 was using the new techniques and getting more performance out of the hardware because of them, and in Vista with the NVidia and ATi drivers not being mature, the new WDDM features were initially slowing things down.)

The new WDDM not only allowed the desktop composer, but moved the OS to handle the GPU as OSes had handled CPUs in the past, so that 3D graphics and computing shoved to the GPU was scheduled by Vista and the WDDM instead of the traditional cooperative multi-tasking model (Still used in all other OSes).

This also allowed for bus features to be used via the OS for VRAM sharing and very fast composer to screen drawing, that didn't have the inherent lag that other composer technologies had, like OSX and some of the new XWindow OpenGL composers.

The WDDM was a great design, it was just unfortunate that it took almost a year for NVidia and ATi to get their drivers working well and optimized to what people were used to with the older XP driver model.

Win7 could have been Vista R2, as the differences are not vast, and most of the enhancements in Win7 are built on features introduced in Vista and fine tuned, with the exception of some of the new kernel lock reductions.

PS A side note about the WDDM's DWM and Aero that is worth repeating...
Anyone running Vista or Win7 with the DWM/Aero turned off, you really need to rethink this, and if you hate the glass, just disable the transparency and leave Aero on.

There are a lot of things that even with all the 'pretty' of Aero, that makes it run your applications faster, even your old applications as it is processing some of the GDI+ calls through the 3D GPU, Fonts, Image encoding/decoding, and of course dramatically reduces the redrawing of obscured windows. It also significantly speeds up any native Vector based graphics and their redraws that come from the WPF API and WDDM API sets as the Aero composer is vector based and aware of these drawing operations so that changes don't require a complete re-render of the scene.

I know a lot of people like to turn off Aero as they think it 'slows' down the computer because it adds extra pretty effects, but these effects are minimal and offset in just a few micro seconds by the improved rendering speed of your desktop application. (Because of how it handles the buffers through the composer, it sometimes will even speed up some older games, as they will run faster in a 'window' with Aero on, than Full Screen with Aero off at the same full screen resolution.)

thenetavenger said,
...

Thanks for the excellent post, great contribution. I too really liked my Vista x64, I think I will always look foundly back on it as my first 64-bit OS, and it was stable (pretty much had 0 crashes in 2 1/2 years on Vista x64) and secure (no malware ever, despite my risky behaviour.) Too bad it has been marred by a concerted propaganda compaign from MS haters, although I admit it had some minor issues before around SP1 was released, whether they were driver or SP related I dunno though. But after SP1 it really shined bright.

I've turned everything of my laptop because I'm on a laptop ¬_¬, don't think the Intel GFX card can run the visuals? Also HDD access seems forever on 5400RPM drives, yes win7 on another netbook I have is absolutely fine. 1GB memory on this to, and windows is clean. Is there anyway to speed up HDD access in Vista like with the page file?

Vista introduced a lot but as pointed out compatibility was a bitch, couldnt even install Vista on my laptop, complained about BIOS etc (spoke to bios manufacturer and laptop company), fast forward to Windows 7 betas etc no warnings about bios not being supported etc...

It's good seeing so many people admit Vista was pretty good.

I did NOT like it when I first tried it, but once I got some decent hardware capable of running it, I never looked back. SO much better than Windows XP.

And of course, Windows 7 (which could be called "Vista R2" or "Vista SE"), is just a polished, nicer version of Windows Vista.

Turion said,

Well you are right, Windows Me and Vista are both fail.

Vista only fails if the user is too big of an idiot to run it properly.

Albert said,
it's liberating to be able to exclaim, "who give a flying forck" now that we have win 7.

You obviously cared enough given you clicked on the link.

Maybe Microsoft needs to take a new strategy: If they make big changes to an OS, leave it as a Release Candidate for a year. Then developers will know what to expect, and be ready for it.

The only problem I had with vista was actually with my audio card manufacturer. If the hardware companies would have supported it more it would have been better. But, lets not forget they wanted to make their money by selling newer hardware.

For me the UAC, Even when it was disabled, drivers never work like should (nVidia Geforce 7900 GX2), TV card, poor performance even with lot of memory, so i switched back to XP, everything was running smooyh.

Until the last RC1 of Windows 7.

After that i knew it was going to be my next OS.

mjedi7 said,
For me the UAC, Even when it was disabled, drivers never work like should (nVidia Geforce 7900 GX2), TV card, poor performance even with lot of memory, so i switched back to XP, everything was running smooyh.

Until the last RC1 of Windows 7.

After that i knew it was going to be my next OS.

Yeah it was TOTALLY Vista and Microsoft's fault that NVIDIA took ages to release a good driver.

Poor performance was also related to drivers. I had 2GB and a Core 2 Duo E6600 and installed Vista shortly after release (didn't feel like formatting on day one) and the only issues I had were the lack of drivers for my TV Tuner (thanks, ATI) and NVIDIA's less than optimal drivers.
I got a new tuner and NVIDIA eventually released decent drivers. I upgraded that computer to 4GB a little later and still use it as my primary computer, though now I have Windows 7 on it.

There are two ways of looking at Vista and both are true.

1. Vista was a technical marvel, stable, and slick.
2. Vista received unduly harsh criticism which thankfully Microsoft listened to and gave birth to Windows 7.
So if Vista wasn't a rock-solid foundation we wouldn't have Windows 7 and if Vista wasn't unduly criticized we wouldn't have Windows 7.

I had Vista 64-bit and it was great. I did have issues with the Nvidia drivers at first but you can hardly blame MS for that. Otherwise it was a perfect OS for me.

Shiranui said,
Mojave was so much better....

Sadly, given the negative Vista talk going on in the forum about this news story, I'm pretty sure half the people in that thread would also agree with your statement. Only problem is they wouldn't be kidding.

I had Windows Vista on my laptop (which I sold) and still have it on my media center. No problems here. It sure was nice to play a DVD in Windows Media Center right out of the box, versus hunting down an MCE capable codec for XP.

war said,
Screw server!

0oh no. i like the beginning stages of vista...when they were actually planning win fs and all those other goodies

Quick Shot said,

0oh no. i like the beginning stages of vista...when they were actually planning win fs and all those other goodies

Um, but a lot of the functionality of WinFS did end up in Vista, even though it was not implemented as WinFS was designed. For the performance differences, NTFS could already many of the features WinFS would have added and NTFS also allowed the new Searching system to track the FS in a near database like fashion with minimal performance costs.

Some features were lost, but I would bet that very few engineers could demonstate these out to features that a user would see work much differently than how Vista shipped. (You can do SQL like queries even in the search bar as well as get 'results' through the new indexing system through to applications.)

In the end, there was very little 'features' that WinFS would have added to the end user that could wasn't able to be provided by what MS did with NTFS and Windows Search.

As for the managed Explorer and OS UI, this is something that was close to happening, but the performance would not have matched what was needed at the time and would have created a bit more overhead that Vista was already having issues with. Again, there are mechanisms in Vista with on the fly code correction and even heap correction that gave the native Explorer and OS UI stability closer to a fully managed system that also helped existing applications with improved stability without having to be rewritten in managed code.

Vista really was totally unusable for the first 9-12 months until Microsoft patched it and drivers caught up. After that I didn't really have much trouble, and I enjoyed it over XP. 7 is just a more refined Vista, but there are so many small refinements that it adds up to be a very nice upgrade.

vista worked perfectly for me, no lag, no hangs or nothing. i just switched to windows 7 cuz it looked for user friendly and cuz i heard it had some more features

yazb123 said,
vista worked perfectly for me, no lag, no hangs or nothing. i just switched to windows 7 cuz it looked for user friendly and cuz i heard it had some more features
Same here. I never got what all the fuss was over Vista. So what if it was different than XP? It needed to be different, with a much better kernel, security model, etc.

Vista was fine but Win7 is just that much better.

Wow. I remember I got a free copy of Windows Vista Business by watching some Microsoft webcasts. But I couldn't install it right away because damn nVidia wouldn't come out with a Vista driver for my newly bought 640MB 8800GTS. Good times.

Pharos said,
Wow. I remember I got a free copy of Windows Vista Business by watching some Microsoft webcasts. But I couldn't install it right away because damn nVidia wouldn't come out with a Vista driver for my newly bought 640MB 8800GTS. Good times.

I got that same copy, never used it either lol

Pharos said,
Wow. I remember I got a free copy of Windows Vista Business by watching some Microsoft webcasts.

Yup, you got both that and Office 2007 in that deal. I sold both.

Pharos said,
Wow. I remember I got a free copy of Windows Vista Business by watching some Microsoft webcasts. But I couldn't install it right away because damn nVidia wouldn't come out with a Vista driver for my newly bought 640MB 8800GTS. Good times.

Yep me too, ran that copy from the day it arrived in the mail until Windows 7 went RTM and arrived on Technet.

Vista was an OS that was just too much for normal computers at the time.. If it was released now I dont believe as many people would complain since they have faster computers. They just had the hardware requirements be higher. I love windows 7 but Vista wasn't that bad for me. Those apple commercials are the reason I turned my back from getting a macbook because I hate companies that tell people whats wrong with the competition other then whats good about their own products..

Lachlan said,
Vista was an OS that was just too much for normal computers at the time.. If it was released now I dont believe as many people would complain since they have faster computers. They just had the hardware requirements be higher. I love windows 7 but Vista wasn't that bad for me. Those apple commercials are the reason I turned my back from getting a macbook because I hate companies that tell people whats wrong with the competition other then whats good about their own products..

Sounds like certain political parties... >.> <.< >.>

Lachlan said,
Vista was an OS that was just too much for normal computers at the time.. If it was released now I dont believe as many people would complain since they have faster computers. They just had the hardware requirements be higher. I love windows 7 but Vista wasn't that bad for me. Those apple commercials are the reason I turned my back from getting a macbook because I hate companies that tell people whats wrong with the competition other then whats good about their own products..
But Mac's "just work" bro! What else do they have to say

amon91 said,
I remember this day 4 days ago. Things have indeed changed, tons.

renumbering the future

i would assume that is a typo

neoxphuse said,
Vista works fine on my laptop. However, 7 runs so much smoother.

It worked allright on my laptop and 7 worked smoother as well.
But for my other computers, and many of my customers, the Vista experience was less than satisfactory. Fortunately Windows 7 works flawlessly.

"And without Vista, we wouldn't have Windows 7"

Exactly. Many people seem to forget this, and bash Vista, but praise 7. The truth is, Vista introduced new features and ways of doing things. The developers weren't "ready", or in other words, stick to their old ways and didn't give a crap about the compatibility.

Few years forward, a new OS that is based on the things Vista introduced is released. The result? Well, now the developers cannot stick to their old ways anymore, because now they are fully aware that this way is the way forward. And therefore, all love 7, but many hate Vista, when in turn, they need to be dissatisfied with the developers of their software/drivers.

(hate is quite a harsh word for anything)

Partly true, developers weren't quite ready to accept Vista, but you can't blame Vista's failure solely on developers. Vista had some major flaws, which were later addressed in SP1 and Windows 7. I would blame both Microsoft and 3rd party developers. But developers are to blame only because of all the negative press that Vista got, so they didn't adopt Vista as a result.

shiny_red_cobra said,
Partly true, developers weren't quite ready to accept Vista, but you can't blame Vista's failure solely on developers. Vista had some major flaws, which were later addressed in SP1 and Windows 7. I would blame both Microsoft and 3rd party developers. But developers are to blame only because of all the negative press that Vista got, so they didn't adopt Vista as a result.

True.

shiny_red_cobra said,
Vista had some major flaws, which were later addressed in SP1...

This is repeated a lot, but exactly what noticeable flaws did SP1 fix? Looking over the list of changes, the only issue mentioned that was likely to have affected a large number of people was the file transfer speed bug (partial list here: http://www.istartedsomething.c...071208/vista-sp1-changelog/).

It seems to me that the 'SP1 milestone' was more about the general level of driver and software support being much better one year after launch.

Cuppa said,

This is repeated a lot, but exactly what noticeable flaws did SP1 fix? Looking over the list of changes, the only issue mentioned that was likely to have affected a large number of people was the file transfer speed bug (partial list here: http://www.istartedsomething.c...071208/vista-sp1-changelog/).

It seems to me that the 'SP1 milestone' was more about the general level of driver and software support being much better one year after launch.


If you've ever used Vista in the RTM, SP1 and SP2 sates you'll know that there is a considerable difference between the three revisions. SP1 took some of the major issues out of the boot time and memory use but in my experience SP2 refined its performance considerably to the extent that it runs much like Windows 7 does out of the box.

Getting Vista up to SP2 has stopped a lot of the complaining about its boot speed and general lagging, even from people who have PC's with far too little RAM to support it. I can't think of any organisation or individual who I have moved up to SP2 who has continued to complain as strongly about performance. Those who have squeaked I've seen to put 2GB RAM in the machine and I've never heard a peep out of them.

RAM is a significant factor in our willingness to accept 7. OEM's were selling Vista machines with 512MB of RAM. That'sinsanity, of course it will lead to a bad experience which Microsoft should have done something about in marketing if not in OEM contracts. Move on 2 years RAM is cheaper and you don't really see Windows 7 systems coming with < 2GB. So performance for new buyers is on par with the Vista SP2 code level with the correct ammount of RAM out of the box.

Saying that 7 is more refined. I think some of that is in Microsoft engineers applying some common sense in the superfetch service to lower the hard drive I/O for the first 15 minutes after boot. Vista is straight out of the starting gates as soon as the service dependencies are available.

C:Amie said,

If you've ever used Vista in the RTM, SP1 and SP2 sates you'll know that there is a considerable difference between the three revisions. SP1 took some of the major issues out of the boot time and memory use but in my experience SP2 refined its performance considerably to the extent that it runs much like Windows 7 does out of the box.

Again, I'd disagree. SP1 and SP2 certainly brought some improvements, but nothing particularly drastic - service packs by definition don't introduce major changes (with a few exceptions). I'd certainly contest your claim that SP1 brought down memory usage and boot times to any large extent. The average Vista experience now is no doubt better than the average launch experience 4 years ago, but this is primarily due to hardware and driver improvements - the service packs shouldn't be viewed as magical (though nor should they be dismissed). Benchmark Vista SP0 and Vista SP2 on recent hardware: I really doubt you'd find any major differences. (I'll note that I only ever had pleasant experiences with Vista, and I ran it from November '06 until the first builds of Windows 7 were released publicly.)

C:Amie said,
If you've ever used Vista in the RTM, SP1 and SP2 sates you'll know that there is a considerable difference between the three revisions. SP1 took some of the major issues out of the boot time and memory use but in my experience SP2 refined its performance considerably to the extent that it runs much like Windows 7 does out of the box.

I ran Vista from launch, as I did with XP before it and Win7 after it. The service packs made minimal difference because they were largely just collections of all the updates that had come before, unlike SP2 for XP. Vista was a decent operating system from launch, despite protestations to the contrary. However, Win7 was a lot better again.

C:Amie said,

snipp

Just have to say it, Vista SP2 is barely able to run on a first generation netbook (1gb ram 1.6 ghz atom), it runs but it isnt usable, windows 7 however runs better on it that xp does which says quite a lot, windows 7 is better optimized than vista.

That said, yes, you are right, many of the complaints probably come from the lack of ram, vista is great as long as you run it on a machine that fills the requirements.

C:Amie said,

If you've ever used Vista in the RTM, SP1 and SP2 sates you'll know that there is a considerable difference between the three revisions. SP1 took some of the major issues out of the boot time and memory use but in my experience SP2 refined its performance considerably to the extent that it runs much like Windows 7 does out of the box.

Getting Vista up to SP2 has stopped a lot of the complaining about its boot speed and general lagging, even from people who have PC's with far too little RAM to support it. I can't think of any organisation or individual who I have moved up to SP2 who has continued to complain as strongly about performance. Those who have squeaked I've seen to put 2GB RAM in the machine and I've never heard a peep out of them.

RAM is a significant factor in our willingness to accept 7. OEM's were selling Vista machines with 512MB of RAM. That'sinsanity, of course it will lead to a bad experience which Microsoft should have done something about in marketing if not in OEM contracts. Move on 2 years RAM is cheaper and you don't really see Windows 7 systems coming with < 2GB. So performance for new buyers is on par with the Vista SP2 code level with the correct ammount of RAM out of the box.

Saying that 7 is more refined. I think some of that is in Microsoft engineers applying some common sense in the superfetch service to lower the hard drive I/O for the first 15 minutes after boot. Vista is straight out of the starting gates as soon as the service dependencies are available.

+1

Cuppa said,

This is repeated a lot, but exactly what noticeable flaws did SP1 fix? Looking over the list of changes, the only issue mentioned that was likely to have affected a large number of people was the file transfer speed bug (partial list here: http://www.istartedsomething.c...071208/vista-sp1-changelog/).

It seems to me that the 'SP1 milestone' was more about the general level of driver and software support being much better one year after launch.

Well, the graphics architecture was a major change.

KavazovAngel said,
"And without Vista, we wouldn't have Windows 7"

Exactly. Many people seem to forget this, and bash Vista, but praise 7. The truth is, Vista introduced new features and ways of doing things. The developers weren't "ready", or in other words, stick to their old ways and didn't give a crap about the compatibility.


Part of Vista's early issues were due to devs and pretty major architecture changes, yes. The most notable ones perhaps being the new driver model, and UAC. However, a major issue tainting Vista's reputation and success was its sluggishness, which was a result of management issues and MS spending way too long time on the Longhorn project until it was transformed and "rebooted" mid-development.

This means Vista was actually rushed to RTM after only ~2,5 years in development, hence the pretty "sloppy" end result, although yes, it undeniably introduced many new features too, and the base for Windows 7.

C:Amie said,

If you've ever used Vista in the RTM, SP1 and SP2 sates you'll know that there is a considerable difference between the three revisions. SP1 took some of the major issues out of the boot time and memory use but in my experience SP2 refined its performance considerably to the extent that it runs much like Windows 7 does out of the box.

Getting Vista up to SP2 has stopped a lot of the complaining about its boot speed and general lagging, even from people who have PC's with far too little RAM to support it. I can't think of any organisation or individual who I have moved up to SP2 who has continued to complain as strongly about performance. Those who have squeaked I've seen to put 2GB RAM in the machine and I've never heard a peep out of them.

Not exactly, as there were a few memory priority optimizations based on the new memory flagging system in Vista, but the performance between RTM and SP2 is not something that generally increased, especially not a level perceivable by a human.

If you saw improved boot speeds with SP1, and SP2 or other performance changes, these would be more directly related to driver updates that were included in SP1 and SP2 from MFRs that had reworked their network, audio, and video drivers.

With the new stacks, the MFRs didn't take time to optimize for how these stacks worked, and a lot of the RTM drivers were just variations of XP drivers trying to run in the new modes. This created delays on boot all the way to audio glitches. (And this isn't even accounting for the massive Video driver changes between RTM and fall of '07.)

So, ya you can say SP1 and SP2 might have removed some hiccups or helped boot speeds, but it was not changes in Vista itself but changes in the drivers (which most could already have been obtained from the MFR or even through MS Updates.)