back to article Vista SP2 release candidate gets public airing

Microsoft’s release candidate of Windows Vista SP2 is now available to anyone keen to dabble with the near final version of the service pack. The software giant initially opened up testing of Vista SP2’s release candidate only to TechNet and MSDN subscribers last week. Now world+dog can get their paws on the download ahead of …

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Gates Horns

SP2?

And there was me thinking that Microsoft were calling Vista SP2 Windows 7.

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Anonymous Coward

Hands up everyone

who thought this was about Win7

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Bronze badge
Pirate

I'll almost be sorry to see her go!

I kinda have some mixed feelings about the way Microsoft are handling this, and it kinda ticks me that I got suckered into MeII (thankfully I was still using 98SE at that time!), which was and still is a great OS by all counts.

Ok my biggest grip w/Vista was the frequent drop-outs crashing of my Network (Drivers), whether it was over Ethernet LAN or Wi-Fi. I could either go for days at a time w/no problems while most of the time I would have these "hang-ups" like three or four freaking times a DAY!

The trick (at least on my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi2550 was to get the updated Wi-Fi Drivers from Intel, and that had my Network crashing FIXED.

And for the most part I'm starting to like Vista just a little bit better.

And having trying the Speech Recognition Software under Vista, I feel kinda fine about it.

It's the first SR that I've tried that actually seems to work (if you follow M$ Script).

Yes Vista still has some problems (ex. Volume Controls), no CD Line-in or MIDI Controls which IMHO just sucks for playing Games like FF7 that make use of MIDI.

And Vista still seems to struggle with FTP Transfers.

But, other then that it seems to me that Vista is a fairly decent OS.

No it wouldn't be my first choice for an OS, but with a decent Driver-set it really isn't all that bad.

Here's hoping that Microsoft gets it right (kicks all the Major OEMs' ), to release proper working Drivers from Day One.

~Shouldn't really be to difficult this time 'round seeing that Windows 7 is just a point release over Vista.

But does this leave us Vista uses in Mell Hell??

Seeing as I just recently picked up this Lappy I'd really hate to have to drop more €€€'s on yet another M$ OS....

Inb4uselinux (I'm already using it in my HTPC to watch Freesat, and Local Cable TV, perhaps the only decent thing Linux will ever be good at), cause I have more chance in cracking the Lotto then ever living long enough to see Linux on the Desktop...

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Gates Horns

WIndows Search 4.0

Very annoying that they've bundled this into SP2. It was made available to XP via WIndows Update and I had to remove it after about a week because of its performance impact.

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Vista

I love Vista, it's not perfect, but I'd never go back to that dog XP. Pre SP2 XP was fucking awful, the worst Microsoft OS I'd ever had. So quickly people forget the BSOD days.... Vista is a triumph in comparison. Maybe It's a bit chubby round the edges, but it's stable, reliable and a massive leap forward. Testament to that being Windows 7.. which is Vista after it's tidied itself up and made to do some exercise.

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Stop

Slipstreaming

Have they made SP2 slipstreamable? Ah - that would be a no. But hey, that was allowable in W2K and XP

And it only installs on SP1 machines - so it's not a true rollup.

Hello Microsoft. The 1990s are calling....

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Paris Hilton

I have to agree

Vista isnt that bad of an operating system! most of the hype still encircling Vista is just media fodder. sure, in the early days it had its troubles, just like windows XP pre-SP2, oh how quick people seem to forget the teething problems that their now beloved windows XP had.

I laugh at everyone now still running XP, they doom themselves to a lifetime of playing with fisher-price toys, just because some columnist looking for a cheap story told them how bad vista is. every time i hear someone bitching about why they dont / wont run vista i call them to the mat, i ask them if they've actually ran vista, or otherwise have any first hand experience with it to fuel their soapbox tirade. once, only one time did someone actually fight back with credible first hand experience / information that was more than just an excuse to buy into the media bullshit. what i have had alot of, is my customers nervously allow me to talk them in to running vista, only to come back later and say how they like it, i'm usually quick to point out to them the little pieces of egg on their face, while handing them a napkin.

The only reason Windows 7 is coming out so fast is because Microsoft is being weak minded on this whole subject, what they should have is just like they did with XP, fix the problems via service pack and told the world to shut the fuck up. they buckled to the pressure put forth by apple, fearing that apple was actually going to make some type of insurgence into their market share and sustain it. sure apple capitalized on the bad press, but outside of the iFanboi cult, most first time apple buyers turn out to be onetime apple buyers.

Paris, because she knows how to capitalize from a little bad press...

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Flame

Vista... meh!

I made the fatal mistake of installing McAfee 2009 on my Vista 64 install (it was free from the bank, I was weak! I know I shouldn't have...). Next cold start-up bluescreen of death. Then EVERY bloody cold start-up at least one BSOD. Found it was netio.sys that was dieing and it was *possibly* because of the McAfee proxy service. Killed that, seemed to be ok. Then another BSOD - again netio.sys.

Eventually I removed McAfee completely and went back to AVG. Was OK for a few days then, bang BSOD - netio.sys AGAIN. I've given up trying to figure out why. If SP2 can fix that, then great if not... well it may just be that I get a proper sound card and install Linux again.

I f**king HATE Vista!!!! *arrrrrrrggghhhhh*

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Anonymous Coward

@ I have to agree

So you talk your customers into buying software that they don't want and are uncomfortable with, then lord it up over them when you actually get it to work? Wow, that's really professional of you. I bet you get a lot of repeat business, with service like that.

Yeah, Microsoft should have just forced everyone to use Vista, sure. I guess that would have made your job easier, huh?

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And?

Just installed it. What does it do please?

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@Dave

So, you install a peice of software that trashes a critical OS file, and it's somehow the OS's fault?

You could do the SAME thing on any OS; if you are installing software then you are running as admin (or root) and crappily written software will have free reign to do what it wants on your machine.

Have you tried using System Restore to restore to the point just before you installed McAfee?

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Is SP2 going to be a real improvement?

Vista could have been great.... but hasn't been so far: windows remembering their sizes - nope; windows remembering their views - nope; less mouse clicks to disconnect from a network - nope; improved Outlook Express - nope, in fact its gone backwards and has devolved to Windows Mail (because MS have decided 'Live' is the way to go, but that's another story); UAC - nope (a feature so annoying that it drives users to turn it off).. etc etc. Vista does have some good features and has been fairly stable for me, but from a user's point of view the problems are back to basics - it's more fiddly and needs improvement. Will SP2 be better? Nope I don't think so - bring on Windows 7! (with fingers crossed...)

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It should have been put down at birth

God only knows who the vista lovers are, I'm yet to meet anyone in the real world that has a single good thing to say about fista. I'm still using a PIII laptop with ubuntu and KDE4 for most things, laugh away, its quicker than the dual core box loaded up with ram thats running vista here. How the hell does it take 30 secs to open a shortcut?? Why does it mysteriously freeze for no apparent reason? Why where the early KDE4 beta releases smoother than MS's attempt at ripping off the mac look? And 7 is being built on the same foundations?? Not heard to many bad things about it yet but that doesn't sound good.

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Anonymous Coward

most of the time it is not even

Vista's fault

OEM filling windows Desktop with crapware to the poin the system is barely usable

Companies that shoult not even be in business (MacAffee) releasy buggy softrware.

XP is dead and outdated (just like religion) but simple minded people will still whoship it for years (same a religion)

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SP2

So they are making "Windows 7", i.e. SP2 available for download and testing? LOL!!!!!

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Paris Hilton

"All transfixed, I stood there gazing"

Whatever about loving/hating Vista, and whether or not people will discover the shift key to make upper-case letters, I still look wonderingly at the notion that anyone would think of selling an unneeded OS to the world, and put it out needing at least two service packs, and the second service pack comes out in beta just like a real program!

[Paris because, well, just because.]

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Happy

@Walter Brown

" I laugh at everyone now still running XP, they doom themselves to a lifetime of playing with fisher-price toys"

I laugh at everyone now still running Windows (any version), they doom themselves to a lifetime of playing with fisher-price toys"

There fixed that for you.

No, there's no need to thank me.

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Gates Halo

Suck it and see

I use Vista x64 and x32 at home. Have done since pre-SP1. I have issues with media player 11 sometimes on the x32 but the laptop is old and underpowered, so not that surprising. x64 runs solid on my desktop, the only problem I've had are software related (i.e. not the OS), no different from XP.

It's fast, stable, better than XP. I know quite a lot of people who were loath to try it, but after a while with Vista they wouldn't go back to XP. I agree that MS have been weak about it and should've stuck it out, but some of the press through enough mud and MS obviously decided that the Vista brand was tarnished, despite the fact it went through the same troubles with 98 and XP.

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Here's hoping..

...that they finally integrate TV Pack 2008 into SP2 so we don't need to hack the registry in media Centre for HD TV!

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Bronze badge
Linux

@Here's Hopeing

You can save you "Hope" it ain't coming.

Not until Windows 7 anyway, having done some light reading on tis subject last night it seems the next breakthrough for MCE will be for DVB-T2 WOOPDEFRAKINDO!!

Until M$ get off there Arses and learn to implement the other DVB's namely C and S/S2, and then with CI/CAM Module Support for PayTV. I'll for One will continue to use Linux VDR. Which kills MCE by a long string of miles. No it's not as pretty as MCE or even MythTV for that matter. But I find beeing able to watch both DVB-C (Subscription), and Freesat [HD] (Astra 2 Eurobird 1), and other HDTV (DVB-S2) Astra 1 and 3, and record then burn to DVD are far more important then a pretty face.

But, that just my 0.02€ Cents....

Tux cause if he's good at anything it's TV!!

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Thumb Down

@Walter Brown

Using XP, tried Vista by "borrowing" it temporarily. The problem here was I just couldn't find a valid reason to upgrade. Prettier yes, but that's about it. I was seriously tempted by the potential for going 64-bit without the insufferable software incompatibilty problems in 64-bit XP, but then I found they'd left the same insufferable software incompatibilty problems in Vista 64, so the only "killer feature" turned out to be a damp squib.

At the end of the day, it had absolutely no features that I wanted that, taken together, justified the price stuck on the box and the effort involved in the process. Nothing to do with lazy journalists or any other FUD-related issues.

Now, I'd probably be happy with it if I bought a new machine and it came with, but since my approach been a continuous "rolling upgrade" process for the thick end of fifteen years now that ain't going to happen.

Before anyone chimes in here, I also have another machine running Linux. I've found that if I feel the need for the Vista experience (pretty, but slow and with a few minor niggling problems), I can start a KDE4 session......

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Paris Hilton

@ TeeCee

I agree with you - though I use Vista daily. I was following the same rolling upgrade path for years, and happy with XP. Then I needed new laptop for work while abroad, and it came with Vista. So I shelled out for another XP licence and.... I never touch XP. I shall install it on a forthcoming desktop build instead.

The point is, Vista flies on my laptop, it hasn't crashed yet and I couldn't be happier with it. But I've no need for it on my XP or Slack boxes because there just isn't any killer improvement.

It's like redecorating a perfectly good office - maybe it's prettier (the improved text rendering over XP on my laptop is fantastic), or more comfortable - but I still get the same work done, in the same time. And I'm still working.

Paris because, well, perhaps I wouldn't need to still be working

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Erm... Anyone know what SP2 actually does?

Nothing in the article or comments actually discussing what SP2 brings to Vista. I'm still hoping that a lot of under the bonnet (ala Win7) improvements are built into the update...

Here we go (from ZDnet)

Emerging Hardware Support

•SP2 contains Blue tooth 2.1 feature pack supporting the most recent specification for Blue tooth technology

•Ability to record data on Blu-Ray media,

•Adds Windows Connect Now (WCN) Wi-Fi Configuration to Windows Vista SP2,

•exFAT file system now supports UTC timestamps, which enables correct file synchronization across time zones.

•SP2 provides support for new form factors, such as ICCD/CCID. new form factor support –example USB form factor as opposed to PCMCIA).

•Support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU

Security

•SP2 includes all previously released security updates, and builds on the proven security benefits of Windows Vista

•Secure Development Lifecycle process updates, where we identify the root cause of each security bulletin and improve our internal tools to eliminate code patterns that could lead to future vulnerabilities

•Reliability

•SP2 addresses previously released reliability updates, as well as addressing crashes, caused by Microsoft code, discovered since the launch of SP1

Performance

•Resume performance when Wi-Fi connection is no longer available after resume from sleep

•Inclusion of Windows Search 4 for improved indexing performance, improved relevancy in search, broader indexing scenario inclusion, as well as new Group Policy integration for Windows Search,

•Improvements to the RSS feeds sidebar gadget to improve update performance and responsiveness

Application Compatibility

•It is our goal that applications that run on the Windows Vista Operating System today and are written using public APIs will continue to work as designed on Windows Vista SP2.

•Previously released Application Compatibility updates are included in Windows Vista SP2.

•Spysweeper and ZoneAlarm now working with POP3 email accounts

Administration and Support Improvements

•Customers installing .net framework 3.5 service pack 1 will notice shorter download and installation times with Vista service pack 2 or Windows 2008 service pack 2 already installed,

•Service Pack Clean up tool (Compcln.exe): This tool helps restore the hard disk space by permanently deleting the previous versions of the files (RTM & SP1) that are being serviced by Service Pack 2.

•Single installer for both Vista & Server 2008

•Ability to detect an incompatible driver and block service pack installation or warn users of any loss of functionality

•Better error handling and providing more descriptive error messages where possible

•Better manageability through logging in system event log

•Componentization for Serviceability of the installer

Some Specific Fixes/Additions Include:

•Inclusion of Hyper-V

•Event logging support in SPC

•DNS Server now listens over ISATAP address

•Fixes DRM issues from WMP upgrades

•Windows Vista Feature Pack for Wireless

•Reduction of resources required for sidebar gadgets

•Improved power settings for WS08

Update No. 2: Microsoft is circulating a list of some of the hotfixes that is rolling up into Vista/Windows Server 2008 SP2. But Microsoft’s list does not include all of the features of the service packs. Perhaps that is why Tofel’s list was “disappeared.”

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