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Nick White, Microsoft Product Manager, talks Vista SP1

Microsoft seems to want to emphasize that Windows Vista SP1, slated for release to manufacturing in the first quarter of 2008, is not meant to be about new features, but about already existing components gaining new functionality. Over at Geek.com, Brian Osborne explains what he has learned about the first major update to the software giant's latest OS. Apart from performance, security and reliability, including all previously released updates, SP1 will incorporate additional support for hardware and standards including an Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) and an Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT).

In SP1, BitLocker Drive Encryption will be able to encrypt other local volumes besides the C drive. Disk Defragmenter will give administrators the ability to control which volume the program defragments. The Network Diagnostics tool has been expanded to help diagnose common file sharing problems and issues associated with printing to local printers from a Windows Terminal Services session. Group Policy tools are also being updated in SP1 to simplify policy management. Nick White, Microsoft Product Manager, also notes that laptop users will be happy to know that SP1 will offer a number of performance improvements, including: "optimization to improve power consumption when the display is not changing by managing the processor so it consumes less energy; single sign-on (SSO) for authenticated wired networks; and improvements in the method used to determine which network interface to use (e.g., should a laptop use wireless or wired networking when both are available)."

Many believe that service packs for Vista won't be as indispensable as they were for previous Microsoft operating systems. This is due to the fact that the company is taking full advantage of the Windows Update client in Vista to push patches and enhancements. "Users looking to deploy Windows Vista are best served by not making their deployment schedules contingent upon SP1 availability," said White. And yet, SP1 may open the door for adoption of Windows Vista by more enterprises since many make it a point not to roll out a new version of Windows until the first service pack is released. Following the current Vista SP1 closed beta, a pre-release of SP1 will be available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers.

News source: Geek.com

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