Microsoft Updates Vista in Bid to Boost Speed, Reliability

Microsoft Corp. last week released a pair of Windows Vista updates that had leaked onto the Internet at the end of July, but the company didnt say when it will begin pushing them to users via Windows Update.

One of the updates is pegged as a performance booster for the new operating system, while the other addresses reliability issues. They include a long list of non­security bug fixes, including one to improve the speed of Vistas wake-from-hibernation function and another thats designed to more quickly calculate the time needed to copy or move large directories.

In addition, several fixes are intended to resolve compatibility glitches between the operating system and third-party video drivers.

A Microsoft spokeswoman said the updates will become available through Windows Update, the software vendors automated patching service, at a later date.

When the previews of the updates found their way onto the Internet, there was speculation that they were related to the upcoming Vista Service Pack 1 and that they might even be harbingers of SP1s release.

That doesnt appear to be the case, but Microsoft confirmed that it has released early code for both Vista SP1 and the long-delayed Windows XP Service Pack 3 to small, invitation-only groups of testers.

So far, Microsoft has committed only to providing a beta release of Vista SP1 sometime this year while consistently downplaying the service packs importance. However, many companies appear to be waiting for SP1 before deploying the new operating system.

Samir Bhavnani, an analyst at NPD Group Inc.s Current Analysis West unit in San Diego, said that many of Microsofts large corporate customers likely wont shift to Vista for years. But SP1 is an important step in the process of spurring users to upgrade, Bhavnani added. SP1 will get a lot more businesses to adopt Vista than the version that exists today, he predicted.

Windows XP SP3 already has a tortured history. Last October, Microsoft delayed SP3s release until the first half of 2008 which would be more than a year after Vistas launch and about three and a half years after XP SP2 became available. And last week, the software vendor described even the 2008 release date for SP3 as preliminary.

-- Gregg Keizer, with Elizabeth Montalbano of the IDG News Service

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend
Shop Tech Products at Amazon