Windows Vista SP1 Of Little Use To Home Users

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft is reportedly telling home consumers waiting for Windows Vista service pack 1 (SP1) not to bother. Pete McKiernan, a senior product manager for Windows told CNET News that Windows Vista SP1 will include all the patches that were already released for Vista in one package, but little else for home users.

Windows Vista SP1 won't include any new features considered must haves. Most of the enhancements to SP1 are for the enterprise customers, and consequently, the "wow" still won't start now.

McKiernan pointed out two features included with the 'upgrade.' One is an improvement to the BitLocker-driven encryption system (only available in Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Ultimate). With SP1, BitLocker will be able to encrypt multiple drive volumes except for USB drives.

Second, SP1 will support Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI), the Intel standard for the interface between software, the operating system and firmware, and Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT), a new Microsoft file system that might eliminate the need for defragmentation in the future.

Expected changes in Windows Vista SP1 include:

Security enhancements: third-party security vendors will be able to work with the kernel patch protection in x64-bit editons, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) files will be signed, Windows Pseudo-Random Number Generator will have Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC) added and BitLocker will add multifactor authentication combining Trusted Platform Module (TPM) with a startup key stored on a USB device (the startup key must match the hardware you're trying to use).

Reliability enhancements: more compatibility with newer graphics cards and printers, greater reliability with extended displays on laptops, various networking issues in systems upgraded from Windows XP, and when Windows Vista enters sleep or resumes from sleep to resolve crashes of Windows Vista reported by users.

Performance enhancements: SP1 is supposed to offer performance boosts including speeding up time copying and extracting files, time it takes to become active from Hibernate and Resume, CPU utilization within Internet Explorer 7 and CPU utilization in laptops, reducing battery drain and shortening the time when browsing network shares.

According to CNET, Microsoft's message seems to be the more you use Windows Vista, the better it gets, but don't expect SP1 to be the impetus to get you or your corporation to upgrade.

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