Monday, September 24, 2007

Ready for Windows Vista SP1 Beta?

With Windows Vista SP1 beta set to be released any time now, here are some points taken from Windows Vista SP1 Beta Whitepaper: Overview of Windows Vista Service Pack1 beta released some days back. So what does Windows Vista SP1 beta contains? What are things to be noted about this release? Check out these so that one can be ready, when Windows Vista SP1 Beta is released, I am putting some of the points here:

One of the main thing to note, “Organizations do not need to wait for SP1 to deploy Windows Vista; they are encouraged to begin their Windows Vista evaluation and deployment now”.

Organizations waiting for Windows Vista SP1 should start their compatibility testing on the gold release of Windows Vista now, and then begin their evaluation and pilot programs on the release candidate of Windows Vista SP1 when it is released. Windows Vista includes architectural changes relative to Windows XP that improve security and reliability. These changes can cause some applications which work on Windows XP not to work on Windows Vista. However, these architectural changes are also part of Windows Vista SP1. For this reason, testing applications on Windows Vista today will be a very good proxy for compatibility with Windows Vista SP1.

In addition to regular Windows Vista updates, application compatibility improvements, and device driver improvements, Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) is another way Microsoft will deliver improvements to the Windows Vista customer experience.

So one must have already installed the performance and reliability updates 938194 and 938979 that were released recently.

The goal of Windows Vista SP1 is to address key feedback Microsoft Service has received from its customers without regressing application compatibility.

The updates in Windows Vista SP1 fall into three categories:

  • Quality improvements, including all previously released updates, which address reliability, security, and performance.
  • Improvements to the administration experience, including BitLocker Drive Encryption (BDE).
  • Support for emerging hardware and standards, such as an Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) and an Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT).
Although Windows Vista SP1 does compare favorably to earlier service packs, specific benefits have certain costs:
Deploying Windows Vista Service Pack 1

Windows Vista SP1 will support a number of deployment scenarios and methods, which the upcoming Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Deployment Guide will describe in detail.

Windows Vista SP1 will support the following delivery methods:

  • Express: Requires an Internet connection but minimizes the size of the download by sending only the changes needed for a specific computer (approximately 50 MB for x86-based operating systems).
  • Stand-alone: Recommended for computers with limited Internet connectivity and for applying the service pack to multiple computers. The download size is larger than the express package, but customers can apply a single package to any Windows Vista version and language combination (within a platform). Distribution tools like System Center Configuration Manager 2007 use stand-alone packages to deploy Windows Vista SP1.
  • Slipstream: The slipstream version of Windows Vista SP1 is media that already contains the service pack, which companies can use to deploy the operating system to new computers or to upgrade existing computers. Availability will be limited. Microsoft will update Windows Vista retail media with Windows Vista SP1 slipstream media in the future. Slipstream media will also be available to Volume Licensing customers.
So these are some of the points to be noted for being ready, when Vista SP1 beta is released.

For complete details , please check the Windows Vista SP1 Beta Whitepaper: Overview of Windows Vista Service Pack1 beta

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