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Windows Vista SP2 in the works. Any comments about it?

by Dango517 / October 24, 2008 6:05 PM PDT
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Before XP
by Jimmy Greystone / October 25, 2008 12:32 AM PDT

Before XP, service packs used to be released about once a year. NT4 had about 7 service packs released for it, and Windows 2000 was on the same basic schedule until XP came along. Then some change in management at Microsoft saw the reduction in the number of service packs released. SP5 for Windows 2000 was canned, but really only in name. It was still released, just as a giant cumulative update for SP4.

I'm sure the thinking of someone in the marketing department at Microsoft, is that they already have a reputation for buggy and broken software, and a large number of service packs just makes it seem all the more broken. It also requires time on the part of developers who could be working on other things, that will hopefully lead to revenue for the company. Unfortunately, it's a huge disservice to people who use the software. Particularly people who run high availability servers that don't want to reboot the system every time some piddly little update comes out, because any amount of downtime is very costly to them. Service pack installs however, can be planned out well in advance, and you're maximizing the efficiency of the downtime by cramming a large number of updates into as small a window as possible.

To me, service packs don't have any sort of negative associations. I see them as a positive indication that work is being done to maintain the product. It says to me that Microsoft is trying to do right by its customers and fix outstanding issues with its products. You'd actually be hard pressed to find any other industry that does the same. If there's some defect with your brand new car, unless it's likely to result in lawsuits that would cost more than a recall, you're stuck with whatever that defect is. The software industry is really pretty unique in that it offers this continual improvement system.

Also, it seems Cnet is 2-3 days late with this story. Neowin broke it a while back, and The Register ran a story on it as well.

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Nothing overwhelming...
by John.Wilkinson / October 25, 2008 12:44 AM PDT

I'm focusing on the new features of Windows 7. Oh, how I love to multi-boot. Grin

John

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Off the subject, John
by Dango517 / October 25, 2008 1:07 AM PDT

but do you think the final release of Windows 7 will run on Vista compatible PC or will it, like Vista, have specific hardware requirements? This PC is too new to replace but I could dual boot it or just buy the OS on the side and install it on this one.

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Windows 7 On Vista machine.
by PECONET / October 25, 2008 1:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Off the subject, John

Windows 7 will run on your new system very well. If you have Vista running on the system then Win 7 will run just fine.
Happy Computing.

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Another off topic for John
by Dango517 / October 25, 2008 1:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Off the subject, John

since your running multiple drives try this. Drag and drop files through a "mount point" to your secondary hard drive to do back ups. This works very well if your "not" creating large volumes of back up data/material. I run a very lean system 30 GB out of 320GBs. BTW, more programs can be transferred this way then by using other methods (CD/DVDs or Acronis). You can use a USB instead of the mount point but some times very large files will need to be broken apart to be moved through the USB, this requires more time and trouble. "E-mails" and "contacts" are not as straight forward as the others files but it is still very quick and reliable. You will need to move them from "Windows Mail"> to the desk top> mount point> drive 2.

Remove the mount point after doing the back ups. Mount point are huge, if you leave them on your system this will add much more time when doing virus scans, malware scans and the like.

Still working on MicroMiniSSDs. Happy

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Additional information..........
by Dango517 / October 25, 2008 2:08 AM PDT

System is equipped with two hard drives. A 40GB back up/secondary drive and a 320GB primary hard drive both running Windows Vista Business.

This does not back up setting and Windows updates. These must be reconfigured or reinstalled should the primary drive fail. Windows up dates for Window Vista SP1 take about two hours to install.

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visual aids
by Dango517 / October 25, 2008 7:22 PM PDT
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You know
by Jimmy Greystone / October 25, 2008 2:11 AM PDT

You know, sort of a side discussion, but what possible new features could there be in Windows 7 that are really all that worthwhile? And given what happened with Vista, it seems a little unwise to be putting too much hope in promised features actually appearing.

If Windows 7 was going to actually realize some of the features dumped overboard to keep the SS Vista afloat, then maybe. Like bring WinFS out from SQL Server and into the operating system so Windows would FINALLY, after about 13 years, have a functional search system. In theory anyway. Also, if the entire userland portion of the OS were going to run inside a .NET VM, that would be another noteworthy advancement. It would likely cut down on the number of exploits for Windows, and make life easier for a lot of developers.

But really, given Microsoft hasn't committed to any features for Windows 7 -- and even those are subject to change suddenly -- or even a firm shipping date for Windows 7, how do you know it will be any better than Vista? All that's out there is a bunch of rumors, speculation, and flat out misinformation.

Not to come off like a neo-luddite or anything, but how about the radical idea of REMOVING some features from the OS? Get rid of some of the pointless features that only 10 people in the world might give two craps about. Then these features can be bundled into different add-on packs like the old Microsoft Plus! pack, and offered for download or purchase in retail outlets. One pack could focus on multi-media features, and include Windows Media player, a bunch of codecs, things like that. There might be another one that is Internet related, and includes something along the lines of Outlook Express, MSN Instant Messenger, maybe a bunch of add-ons for Internet Explorer... And while we're at it, Internet Explorer, as it ships with Windows, should be lobotomized. It should be a basic HTML browser with limited support for JavaScript and a lot of other common web features. It's primary role is to be used with the HTML help system. Good enough that people could use it to download another, more feature full, browser. Internet Explorer, as we know it today, could be bundled in the Internet pack. You might have another one for dealing with PDAs, smart phones, and things of that nature. Just get all of this stuff out of the OS distribution and put it into separate add-on packs. Then people can pick and choose which add-on packs they want. It's also a great new potential revenue stream for Microsoft. Sell boxed bundles in stores, and also offer them for download. Leverage micropayments by letting people download only the parts of a given pack they want. So if someone only wants Windows Media Player and MSN Instant Messenger, they can buy just those for download. The rest of us don't have to put up with the burgeoning size of Windows and its ever increasing lethargy.

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There are committed features...
by John.Wilkinson / October 25, 2008 9:34 AM PDT
In reply to: You know

Honestly, I'm much more interested in WindowsMobile 7 than Windows 7, but Windows Vista's successor still has enough to keep my interest for, as Ballmer said, it's Vista only better. And for the record, I'm not basing myself on "a bunch of rumors, speculation, and flat out misinformation."

John

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Just like Vista
by Jimmy Greystone / October 25, 2008 10:39 AM PDT

Just like Vista had all these committed features that failed to materialize at all, or ended up being folded into a completely different product? Given Microsoft tends to be big on promises and not so much on delivery, I'll wait and see what actually ends up shipping to see if it's "Vista only better." Until the thing goes gold, nothing Microsoft says can be trusted.

It is a little surprising to me Ballmer still has his CEO job. I would have thought after the colossal blunders that have happened on his watch, MS shareholders would be out for blood. The Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death issue, Vista, Windows losing significant ground to Apple and Linux, Windows Mobile losing out in a big way to the iPhone, the Zune getting clobbered up and down, left and right, forwards and backwards by the iPod, Google continuing to dominate the online world, Firefox making significant inroads against Internet Explorer, plus the whole chair throwing incident and acting like a monkey... Not exactly what you'd call a stellar performance record. Granted these days he seems little more than a PR mouthpiece for the company, so the reality probably is that someone else is actually quietly running the show behind the scenes at Microsoft.

And as I recall, Windows Mobile 7 was recently delayed. Must have been a very good reason with the whole Google Android launch happening around the same time.

Anyway, what are some of these confirmed features, and what is your source? How do you know that Windows 7 will be basically a better Vista? What is there to substantiate this?

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Windows 7...
by John.Wilkinson / October 25, 2008 12:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Just like Vista

-> Have to wait for Tuesday's PDC keynote.
-> Microsoft.
-> Personal access.
-> Nothing officially public, yet.

John

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And...
by Jimmy Greystone / October 26, 2008 2:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows 7...

And, why exactly should anything Microsoft says be taken seriously? Given their history of saying one thing and doing something completely different, why should anyone believe that this time they really mean it?

Plus, considering all they've supposedly released is a few private betas, it's still very much subject to change. Some feature may get yanked at the last minute because they couldn't fix some nasty bug with it, other features may find their way in, behavior might be altered on yet other features.

It's just because I remember back to when Vista was still being called Longhorn, and Bill Gates was running all over the place talking about how things that were going to be in Longhorn. First there was WinFS, which started out life as a completely new filesystem. Then as time went by, it was scaled back to being just a metadata overlay to NTFS. Then the whole thing just disappeared. It later turned up as a part of SQL Server. Then there was talk about how Longhorn was going to be rewritten to run inside a .NET VM. That obviously didn't happen either. At at least one point, I remember seeing an interview with one of the Windows developers where they claimed that they had scrapped the entire XP codebase and started fresh for Longhorn, and that they had implemented all these internal changes where if some developer racks up too many bugs, they can't commit any new features to the codebase until they go back and clean up some of those bugs. In fact, Longhorn was actually supposed to be this major overhaul release of Windows early on, but clearly that didn't quite pan out either.

And these are just things they said about Vista. If you want to go back over the entire history of the company, there are plenty of other examples. OS/2 fans love putting up this video of Bill Gates giving a speech about how OS/2 is the future and successor to DOS and Windows. Within the last decade, you could probably find examples of promised features that fail to materialize for every major product release Microsoft has made. Maybe they show up in subsequent releases, but not in the release they were promised for originally.

So, given 10+ years worth of examples where a promised feature arriving on schedule is the exception rather than the rule, again I have to ask: Why I should believe that this time is different?

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Windows needs these
by Dango517 / October 25, 2008 10:41 AM PDT
In reply to: You know

The ability to overwrite itself with a fresh copy/install, while retaining back up materials and settings.

Improved real time defragmentation and hard drive optimization.

A large full time staff commitmented to "Problem Reports and Solutions"

Improvements in Superfetch.

The ability to run virtual memory on a 6-8 GBs of NAND memory.

A much faster Internet explorer

A registry repair function.

Improvement in their "on site", knowledge base, search.

A serious commitment to improving Video quality and consistency of stream.

Continue improvement to solve the problem of memory leakage from the software side of this issue.

In short, like all OSs, theirs is unreliable.

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Some of those
by Jimmy Greystone / October 26, 2008 3:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Windows needs these

Some of those really don't have anything to do with Windows, or even Microsoft.

From what I understand, Vista stole Apple's "Archive and Reinstall" option, where it just dumps the entire old install into a subdirectory and then installs a fresh copy of Windows. Unlike OS X, it doesn't appear to have the option to keep the user profile data.

The defragging and hard drive opt really won't help as much as you think. It would also require a pretty significant overhaul of NTFS to replace it's current FIFO system with a more intelligent system. People who run large server clusters might be happy, but virtually everyone else would see no real difference.

You're never going to see the third wish either. In the mind of a commercial company, you may as well be burning money. Shareholders would never stand for it either.

IMO, superfetch has been improved quite a bit in Vista. You need to feed it plenty of RAM (I have 6GB and it uses around half of that at any given time) but it works pretty well.

NAND memory is unreliable and will ultimately give out much sooner than your average hard drive.

IMO, Internet Explorer needs to be scaled back significantly. Of course there really isn't much more that can be done to speed up any web browser. Most of the problem is the slow network link.

Rather than a registry repair function, I'd prefer to see the registry disappear. It may lack some of the elegance of a registry like solution, but I'd much prefer going back to something like the old .ini system. Just borrow an idea from *nix land, and have something equivalent to the /etc directory where all program configurations are stored.

The video quality thing really doesn't have anything to do with Microsoft or Windows. It's a matter of what options were used in the encoding of the stream/video.

Fixing memory leaks is a good solid goal, but not really as easy as it sounds. Windows is written in C and C++, where you have to do memory management yourself as the developer. Every bit of memory has to be allocated by you, and then freed by you when not needed. There are various garbage collection methods for automatically reclaiming orphaned memory, but it comes at the price of a performance hit. The amount of the performance hit depends on the type of garbage collection used. The more effective it is, the bigger the performance hit. And tracking down memory leaks yourself, without using a garbage collector is very painstaking work. Think of it like having 6-7 sheets of paper with nothing but tables of numbers on them. Each sheet of paper has at least 100 numbers on it, and is linked to some number on another sheet. Finding memory leaks is like tracing every single number on every sheet, and checking something like a flow chart to find out if this number is still being used or if it can be reused for something else.

Another feature I'd like to see, is a return to the days of DOS when uninstalling a program was as simple as deleting the directory it was installed in. No more of this crap where a program has bits and pieces of itself scattered all over the filesystem, and you need a special uninstaller program to get rid of it. Programs should all be wholly contained within their own directory tree, so all you have to do is delete that directory to uninstall the program. Copy Apple again if need be, just without the scattering of files into the various Library directories.

Something I'd really love to see, but don't think I ever will, is for Windows to return to it's pre-Windows95 roots as simply a windowing environment. Then Microsoft could sell it as a desktop environment for various *nixes. This frees them up from having to maintain a full on operating system, and focus solely on providing a solid desktop environment/experience. They can let the likes of IBM and Sun worry about the low level details of making an operating system, Microsoft just puts the pretty face on it.

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I'll stand by my list
by Dango517 / October 26, 2008 6:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Some of those

And your suggestions might be?

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Mentioned them already
by Jimmy Greystone / October 26, 2008 1:15 PM PDT
In reply to: I'll stand by my list

Mentioned them already:

* Strip the OS down to the core and offer extras as some kind of separate download or purchasable add-on packs similar to MS Plus! from days of old.

* Do away with the registry. It was a decent idea implemented in about the worst way possible, which is classic Microsoft. Just get rid of it, go back to .ini files or some XML based system.

* Make it so uninstalling apps is as simple as removing the directory in Program Files

* A new one is to drop all 32-bit support and just go 64-bit only.

Of course at this point we've completely derailed on the whole Vista SP2 discussion, so it might be best if we just end this side discussion.

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USB HDD Fix?
by TotalKonfuzion / October 27, 2008 6:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Some of those

I hope they fix the USB Hard Drive slow booting issue that lots have experienced. That would be nice. I also hope to see a better implementation of UAC but that won't happen. I'm looking forward to better compatibility with Media Center PCs as that's where I've come across most issues, such as resolution issues and general VMC issues that cause it to be less usable than even MCE2005. Just recently I tried setting up a media center using Vista Ultimate with an ATI X550 card and could not get it functioning without jerky video playback. This worked fine in XP...that's just an example of the shortcomings. This could be a driver issue as well, but meh...it should just work.

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I had that USB problem
by Dango517 / October 27, 2008 2:33 PM PDT
In reply to: USB HDD Fix?

turned out to be a bad USB. May have just worn out. Remember, these wear out over time. If you use these a lot, like I do, they will wear out quickly. This will effect those using Ready boost USBs, "always plugged in".

Reload your OS disk at the start/BIOs window. After the language section choose the drive your using, if more then one, then choose system repair, then choose "start up repair". This might help. Remove all USBs first.

Take note John W..

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I have Windows Vista SP2 installed and i have no problems.
by PECONET / January 18, 2009 5:25 AM PST

At the moment it is steady. But before you load it on Please Please do a back up. I have a back up just in case. If possible down load the Vista SP2 in the ISO format so that you can burn it to cd or dvd.
Like i said above it is stable and worth installing.
Please post back if you have any problems or questions.

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This is very old now. See dates.
by Dango517 / January 18, 2009 5:37 PM PST

I've had SP1 installed for a very long time and was a Beta tester for it. It's been no problem for me since it was a Beta. Occasionally someone has a problem with it now but not very often. Thank you for the response though, good to know some still read these old threads.

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link
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