Vista SP1 early access for IT/devs? (and Error'd)

You can't download IT Blogwatch: in which Microsoft relents (slightly) on its decision to give Widows Vista SP1 to IT people and developers at the same time as everyone else. Not to mention the weirdest big-screen error message ever...

Gregg Keizer reports

Microsoft Corp. confirmed today that beta testers of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) can now download the final bits of the update, [but] it will not make the code available to IT pros and developers who subscribe to TechNet or the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) until later this month ... TechNet and MSDN subscribers, who pay hundreds or thousands of dollars annually for the right to download Microsoft software for testing and development purposes, remain out in the cold ... subscribers ... called the decision a "debacle" and "boneheaded." [more]

Kevin Remde adds:

As you probably know, Windows Vista SP1 RTM'd the same day as Windows Server 2008 (Feb 4, 2008), but while Windows Server 2008 was made available to TechNet and MSDN subscribers, SP1 was not. Reasons were many - basically boiling down to some drivers that weren't written to handle the update very well, so they need to be reinstalled after SP1 is applied. Not difficult for geeks like us; but to your Mother-in-Law, it's a problem ... So the delay in making it generally available is to give those driver manufacturers a chance to remedy the situation. [more]

Preston Gralla comments:

Microsoft screwed up big time ... would do well to pay attention to its TechNet Plus customers ... The TechNet Plus blog is filled with more than 130 angry comments ... Plenty of subscribers are saying they'll pull the plug on their subscriptions because of Microsoft's decision. [more]

Microsoft's Mike Nash announced the "change":

On Monday (February 4th), we announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1). Overall, people are excited to hear that we have reached this milestone, but some are disappointed they are not able to immediately download it ... I noted that we were going to make SP1 available to customers in stages to make sure we delivered a great experience ... some people asked why we haven't made SP1 available to technical customers sooner. We've heard the feedback. [more]

Nate Mook is curious:

Microsoft actually knew of the issue before releasing the final version of Vista SP1 ... It's not clear why Microsoft didn't give driver manufacturers advance notice of the required changes, nor why the problem wasn't simply fixed in the service pack. Regardless of the issue, beta testers for SP1 were given access to the RTM code late Friday. At the end of this week, Microsoft's Volume Licensing Customers will receive SP1. MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers will be able to download the update by the end of the month. [more]

Jeff Centimano analogizes:

This is a major upgrade to Vista RTM and not simply a collection of security/bug fixes. If you need proof, check Mark Russinovich's blog post on file copy improvements. However, Vista SP1 won't usher in a new wave of UI changes either. To use a car analogy... think of Vista SP1 as a manufacturer recall to replace the engine. The car looks the same, but it runs a heck of a lot better and faster. Microsoft is hopeful that SP1 address most issues preventing large organizations from deploying Vista. It won't quiet the 'Resurrect Windows XP' crowd... but then again, nothing will. [more]

Ed Bott adds perspective:

No wonder the Wow had so much trouble getting started. By Microsoft’s own count, Windows Vista Service Pack 1 rolls up 551 separate hotfixes, in addition to 23 security updates rated Important and already delivered via Windows Update. A handful of those hotfixes were previously released via Windows Update, but most were available only to corporate customers and OEMs. If that sounds like a lot of bugs to be stomped in one service pack, well, 551 is a pretty big number. But it’s not out of line with the number of fixes that went into the two service packs for Windows XP. [more]

But Thomas Ricker spots a fly in the ointment:

Oops. One of Microsoft's big goals in releasing Vista SP1 is the closure of a pair of known Vista activation exploits. While the OEM BIOS hack and grace timer hacks are now indeed useless in the face of SP1, a third remains ... Now that SP1 is riding the torrents, we can't say we're surprised. [more]

And finally...

Buffer overflow:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 20 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You too can pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

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