Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Replaces Vista Kernel

Dennis Faas's picture

One of the 'big' features reportedly discussed in the early speculation surrounding Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) was a kernel upgrade that would supposedly bring Windows Vista into line with the Longhorn kernel used in Windows Server 2008.

Little if any mention has been made by Microsoft about the kernel update, even as Vista SP1 goes RTM (released to manufacturing). The kernel was updated, but Microsoft appears to be more keen to promote the improvements and enhancements to Vista rather than placing emphasis on a kernel upgrade, which might be seen as a risk to stability.

Windows Vista SP1 will also contain an unknown number of fixes that aren't being disclosed by Microsoft. A document titled 'Notable changes in Windows Vista SP1' available for download from Microsoft makes that clear, as noted by ZDNet.

On page 11 of the document referenced in the paragraph above, under the Security Improvements section it states "SP1 includes Secure Development Lifecycle process updates, where Microsoft identifies the root cause of each security bulletin and improves our internal tools to eliminate code patterns that could lead to future vulnerabilities."

Microsoft can't tell you how many code patterns have been eliminated or whether those code patterns lead to vulnerabilities, but the company has taken steps to remove them anyway.

Not acknowledging vulnerabilities shows how much credibility we can lend Jeff Jones, Security Strategy Director in Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing group. Jones claims that Vista had fewer vulnerabilities in the first year than Windows XP or any other operating system.

While it remains to be seen whether or not Windows Vista SP1 will help or hinder the ongoing 'success' of Windows Vista, some users are already reporting assorted problems.

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