The Good Windows Vista SP1 improves the overall upgrade process, fixes hundreds of tiny problems, and makes it easier for third-party vendors to write stable code for Vista.
The Bad Windows Vista SP1 lacks any compelling "must haves," and, in most cases, doesn't significantly improve performance (in some cases, it even degrades performance).
The Bottom Line While it's always good to install the latest code for any operating system, installing the Windows Vista SP1 update will require some casual users to spend a few hours without any visible or tangible improvements to their systems.
Windows Vista SP1
A little more than one year after its release, Windows Vista will receive its first service pack update in March. Microsoft says the pack will offer better compatibility with third-party hardware, increased reliability, tighter security, and better performance. But unlike the last Windows Service Pack release, Windows XP SP2--which offered users a new Windows Firewall, an improved Automatic Updates feature, and a pop-up ad blocker for Internet Explorer--Windows Vista SP1 is largely a code update, devoid of new eye candy, and very light on "must-have" features for home users. Most of the features touted by Microsoft are for the Business, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions of the operating system. Our advice: Be patient, and don't download it once it becomes available. Wait until Windows Vista SP1 is offered to your PC via Microsoft's Automatic Updates service.
Windows Vista SP1 will arrive one of three ways. Most users will automatically receive the update via Windows Update. Microsoft says that users will only receive the changes specific for their computer to cut down on network traffic and download times. Users with limited or no Internet connectivity, or who need to update more than one PC, will be able to download a complete image of Windows Vista SP1 via DVD. Volume license customers (enterprises) will receive an integrated DVD media package for installation on new PCs.
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