No wonder the Wow had so much trouble getting started. By Microsoft’s own count, Windows Vista Service Pack 1 rolls up 551 separate hotfixes, in addition to 23 security updates rated Important and already delivered via Windows Update. A handful of those hotfixes were previously released via Windows Update, but most were available only to corporate customers and OEMs.
If that sounds like a lot of bugs to be stomped in one service pack, well, 551 is a pretty big number. But it’s not out of line with the number of fixes that went into the two service packs for Windows XP. The first XP service pack was delivered in September 2002, about 14 months after the original RTM date; its list of fixes included updates from 24 security bulletins and 297 hotfixes. XP Service Pack 2 covered a longer period of time (23 months), but still, its list of fixes was staggering, with updates identified by 60 security bulletins and a whopping 666 (no, I did not make that number up) fixes. (If you want to do a fair comparison between the first service packs for Vista and XP, you need to exclude a few fixes from the Vista list. Back in 2002, XP Media Center didn’t yet exist, nor did Tablet PCs, Windows Sidebar gadgets, or the .NET Framework, just to name a few categories that collectively include more than 60 fixes in Vista SP1 but weren’t needed in XP SP1.)
In Microsoft’s release notes for SP1, the list of updates is stuffed into a barely formatted table that goes on for 35 mind-numbing pages (out of a total of only 55 pages). Each entry in the list consists of a Knowledge Base (KB) article number, the article title, and a general category name. Now, the categories that Microsoft’s developers use to categorize KB articles might make sense in Redmond but they aren’t very helpful from a Windows user’s point of view. So, over the weekend, I imported that list into Excel and went through it article by article, breaking it down into categories of my own devising. Here’s the list:
Fixes Category 75 Internet Explorer 41 Sleep/Hibernation & Power Management 38 Storage 35 Hardware and Drivers 35 Networking 28 Desktop and Shell 25 Printing & Scanning Technologies 25 .NET Framework, Data Components, Development Tools 24 Setup, Deployment, Backup, and Activation 24 Windows Media Center 23 International/Localization 20 Computer Management, Administration, and Tools 19 Application Compatibility 19 Multimedia 16 Performance and Reliability 16 Startup/Shutdown 13 Time Zone/Daylight Saving Time 13 Windows Media Player and Related Technologies 12 Security 12 Remote Access, VPN 8 IIS and WebDAV issues 7 Wireless Networking 7 Offline Files 6 Windows Mail and Web-based Software 5 Windows Sidebar and SideShow 5 Windows Portable Devices
Personally, I wasn’t surprised to see Internet Explorer at the top of the list, nor was I shocked to see how many separate issues addressed problems with sleep, hibernation, and power management.
I’ll look at a few of these categories in more detail later this week, probably starting with the many fixes for sleep/hibernate/power issues. Which categories are you most interested in?