Vista SP1 rolls up 551 bug fixes

Summary:How many bug fixes are included in Windows Vista Service Pack 1? By Microsoft’s count, SP1 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, well, it is. But it’s not out of line with the number of fixes that went into the first two service packs for Windows XP. I've got the full breakdown by category.

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?

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the a... Full Bio

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