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Microsoft's Windows Vista Team Announces the RTM of SP1

"With Service Pack 1, we have made great progress in performance, reliability and compatibility"

"When we first released Windows Vista last year, there were lots of customers who had great experiences, but some had issues finding applications that worked well on Windows Vista," wrote Microsoft's Mike Nash yesterday candidly on the official Windows Vista Blog. "The good news," he continued, "is that this last year has been a great year of progress for Windows Vista in terms of improving application and device compatibility."

His post continued as follows:
"Service Pack 1 brings new improvements that are based on feedback we heard from our customers. It further improves the reliability and performance of Windows Vista. The information we collect thanks to tools like the Customer Experience Improvement Program, Online Crash Analysis, and Windows Error Reporting help us learn about where and when customers are having issues with Windows Vista and the applications that run on it. Since these issues have a direct impact on our customers' experiences, we've invested time and energy to make this better. While Windows Vista Service Pack 1 is an important milestone, we will continue to invest in the continuous improvement process.

SP1 also includes changes focused on improving the performance of Windows Vista in areas that impact the customer experience the most. For instance, with SP1, copying or moving files around your PC, your home network or your corporate network should now be much faster -- up to 50% faster in some scenarios (according to our internal tests). In addition, on many kinds of hardware, resuming a Windows Vista-based PC from sleep is faster on Service Pack 1.

The key learning over the last year is that when we change the operating system, it takes time to let the ecosystem make sure that the hardware and software that they build works well with Windows Vista. So as we release Windows Vista SP1 to manufacturing, we are going to be thoughtful about when and how it gets distributed.

With today's RTM of SP1, a number of processes kick off as we deliver the update to customers. Our OEM partners will get SP1 and start producing new PCs running Windows Vista with SP1 pre-installed. We will also start the manufacturing process for retail product of Windows Vista with SP1. Both will be available in stores for new Windows Vista customers in the coming months. Today we also start the process to manufacture DVDs for our enterprise customers who get our software via our Volume Licensing program.

As we update our customers to SP1, we want everyone to have a great install experience. We are going to stage our rollout of SP1 for current Windows Vista users to be approximately concurrent with the availability of Windows Vista SP1 on new PCs and in stores. There are a couple of reasons for this. Our beta testing identified an issue with a small set of device drivers. These drivers do not follow our guidelines for driver installation and as a result, some beta participants who were using Windows Vista and updated to Service Pack 1 reported issues with these devices. Because the issue was with the way the drivers were installed and not the drivers themselves, the solution was simply to reinstall the drivers. While this worked fine for our more technical beta testers, we want to deliver a better experience for customers as we make the update broadly available."

Nash then gave the timing for SP1 availability for current Windows Vista users, before finishing:
"This is an important milestone for our current and future Windows Vista customers around the world. I want to take a minute to thank our customers for their feedback on Windows Vista and the beta of Service Pack 1. I also want to thank our hardware and software partners for their continued efforts to deliver the best experiences on Windows Vista."

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.NETDJ News Desk monitors Microsoft .NET and its related technologies, including Silverlight, to present IT professionals with news, updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards, and insight.

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