With all the controversy as of late regarding the extent to which Service Pack (SP) 1 will improve Windows Vista's performance, what is Microsoft saying?
Externally, not much. Throughout 2007, Microsoft officials have tried to downplay SP1, hoping to convince users that they don't need to wait for the first service pack before moving to Windows Vista. As a result, executives have been less-than-forthcoming when it comes to the performance gains they expect Vista SP1 will deliver.
Internally, however, the company is promising some pretty hefty improvements for users who install SP1, according to sources.
I hear that Microsoft is telling its own employees - whom it is hoping to convince to install the new escrow build of te Vista SP1 Release Candidate (RC) test build in order to give the code a final check before the company begins making it available to testers outside the company -- that Vista SP1 will:
- Improve by 25 percent local file copying on the same disk on the same machine
- Improve by 45 percent the speed of copying files from a remote non-Windows Vista system to a SP1 system
- Speed up by 50 percent the rate of copying files from a remote SP1 system to a local SP1 system
- Improve the reading time for large images by roughly 50 percent
- Improve the time to resume from standby for a "certain class" of USB hubs by about 18 percent
- Improve the performance of user login on corporate PCs outside of the corporate environment so that it is comparable with login inside companies
What else will Vista SP1 fix? Microsoft is dangling these other SP1 improvements in front of its employees internally, sources said, including:
- Reduction of the number of User Account Control (UAC) prompts from four to one when creating or renaming a folder at a protected location
- Improvement of compatibility with third-party diagnostic tools that rely on raw sockets
- Addition of a password hint during the initial set up of Vista SP1
- Resolution of many of the most common causes of crashes and hangs in Vista, especially those involving Windows Calendar, Windows Media Player and a number of other drivers included with Vista
Microsoft is expected to make the near-final Vista SP1 RC code available publicly in mid-December. The final version of Vista SP1 is due out in the first calendar quarter of 2008.
I'm curious whether any of the 15,000 external testers who've been dabbling with the Vista SP1 RC preview build that Microsoft made available in mid-November have seen these kinds of performance improvements. Anyone care to share?