Vista Service Pack 1 Released

Dennis Faas's picture

The first major update for Windows Vista is now available for download. Service Pack 1 can be manually downloaded from Microsoft's web site, or through Vista's built-in update facility. The download is between 434MB and 726MB depending on the type of computer, so many users will prefer to download it overnight.

Those who choose not to install Service Pack 1 now will likely receive it through an automatic update in mid-April. Amazon will be stocking boxed copies of Vista with Service Pack 1 already installed after this week, though it's not clear when retail stores will do the same.

Microsoft has warned that computers with drivers produced by RealTek, Intel, or Symantec may not be able to install Service Pack 1. Drivers are pieces of software which allow physical devices such as graphics or audio cards to work with Windows. Microsoft says it will automatically block installation on affected computers until updated drivers are available.

Service Packs are major updates to a Windows operating system -- effectively a new edition -- which fix bugs that have been discovered in the software. Those who've installed Service Pack 1 say it makes Vista run much faster, perhaps even as quickly as Windows XP. Many users had complained that the initial release of Vista was more sluggish than XP, an onvious deterrence to upgrading. (Source:

Service Pack 1 was actually finished in early February but only released to IT professionals and large businesses. Microsoft says the delay in releasing it to the general public was caused by the driver compatibility problems and the need to find a way of blocking installation where needed. (Source:

This week's release could be a significant moment for Vista. Many businesses, particularly those that can't afford the time and cost of fixing major problems across their network, choose to wait until the first Service Pack is available before upgrading to a new version of Windows. How people respond to the new edition of Vista will decide how quickly Microsoft is able to phase out XP, and how soon it will be before they can create a lucrative successor to Vista.

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