Vista SP1's snafu-filled saga

Windows Vista SP1's rocky ride to market has no doubt turned the stomachs of many advanced users

The latest turn of events — and to be sure, this journey changes course daily — has Microsoft recommending workarounds for rebooting issues caused by a recent Windows Vista update that was meant to prepare systems for SP1 — which is supposed to happen in mid-March.

Earlier this month, Microsoft had finalised Vista SP1 code and released it to manufacturing. It also provided access to some testers and reviewers, but not the usual broad list. That led some testers and reviewers to grouse that they weren't in that coveted first distribution. At the same time, other users started urging Microsoft to speed SP1 to market. Microsoft complied, somewhat, and posted SP1 to Technet and MSDN, reaching a broader set of advanced users.

That’s when the fun started. An SP1 update made available shortly after that broader release of the manufacturing-ready SP1 code caused machines to reboot and reboot and reboot. And so Microsoft yanked it quickly.

In the meantime, those whose systems didn't suffer from endless-reboot syndrome discovered that Vista SP1 didn't do much, if anything, to overcome its speed woes: Early performance reviews were not encouraging: InfoWorld's tests showed Vista SP1 to be up to 40% slower than Windows XP with SP3, while PC World's tests showed mixed results.

To add insult to injury, an interim build of SP1 was inadvertently leaked to some users via Microsoft's Windows Update software.

Who knows what the next week will bring?

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