Should we start planning for those Vista SP1 trade-offs?

Should we start planning for those Vista SP1 trade-offs?

Summary: I've been anxiously awaiting news of Vista SP1 since, well, since Vista went RTM. I've expected that SP1 will bring an end to some of the Vista teething troubles that I and many others have been experiencing. Now I'm starting to worry that SP1 is going to bring with it new teething troubles.

TOPICS: Windows, Microsoft

I've been anxiously awaiting news of Vista SP1 since, well, since Vista went RTM.  I've expected that SP1 will bring an end to some of the Vista teething troubles that I and many others have been experiencing.  Now I'm starting to worry that SP1 is going to bring with it new teething troubles.

Earlier today my ZDNet blogging colleague Larry Dignan posted the following:

Microsoft: Some SP1 improvements have tradeoffs.

Vista SP1 tradeoffs

What Joe IT is thinking: “Tradeoffs? Is that like applications breaking?”

Whoa, whoa, whoa!!!  More stuff breaking?  The wording that Microsoft uses is quite worrying if you read between the lines:


Windows Vista SP1 brings numerous improvements to performance, reliability, and other areas.


A significant number of components changed between Windows Vista and Windows Vista SP1.

Microsoft actions and recommendations for reducing impact:

Microsoft tests a large suite of applications, searching for regressions in compatibility from Windows Vista to Windows Vista SP1.

This says one thing to me - expect trouble.  While Microsoft is saying to business (and consumers) that there's no need to wait in order to, but I can't help but feel that you'd have to have a screw loose or something to now be thinking of rolling out Vista.  For those of us that have already made the move, well, it sounds to me like there could be more trouble ahead.


Topics: Windows, Microsoft

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  • Can you be one of the Beta Testers?

    As part of your 7 point plan, you already backup extensively. An early look at pre/post updates with the ability to restore (if needed) will be more help to everyone than the inevitable supposition of "it will suxs" or "Vista roks" that will forthcoming soon to thousands of blog talkbacks in the coming days/weeks.

    My interest, to date I have prevented anyone from purchasing Vista since (imho) it is not general consumer ready. I have been Dell with XP or in one case (back to school with the new 20" Apple desktop), or Linux (for the ones I directly support), but, and a huge but, if Vista can get to XP usability/reliability, it makes my recommendation life easier.

  • Release cycle

    Translations between industry lifecycle stages and MS lifecycle stages:

    Industry Microsoft
    Alpha RTM
    Beta SP1
    Release SP2
    Yagotta B. Kidding
  • Worlds Biggest Hobby

    Exactly when does this start to be unacceptable? Hobbyists extolling a culture of
    repair and participating in an artificial economy, give pass after pass to a
    substandard and unfinished product. Why the slack? Because they are teased by
    the possibility, of earning brownie points by solving this weeks indignity. It just
    doesn't seem to get old.

    Seriously, this is the last straw Microsoft! After a litany of problems, antitrust,
    coersion, years of delays, mounting costs, and feeble excuses, we've had enough.
    To show you we're serious, we're going to start planning early for Vista SP1

    That'll teach 'em

    There has been an entire generation of geeks who've made computing a major
    focus in their lives. Pros take their tools seriously, and appreciate an opportunity
    to support value. This generation of hobbyists have emerged from their parent's
    basement and spent 10 years bargain hunting. In so doing, they've reduced the
    most sophisticated personal tool available, to the status of a cheap undependable
    appliance. It's no longer about computing, it hasn't been for a long time. It's about
    the tinkering Heath Kit fanboys and their love of shopping sprees.
    Harry Bardal
    • I wonder what pisses you off more....

      the fact that Windows is [b]so[/b] much better than OSX that people are willing to put up with WGA, service pack incompatibilities, 7 different Vista versions, etc. or that you've obviously been so completely locked-in to the Apple ecosystem that you can't get out and see why the rest of us are so happy not to be in that hole with you? :)
      • Funny as heck, actually

        (I work at a graphics arts company, so we have a true mix of OS's)

        I was in a meeting today where WebEX failed to load on a Vista machine and I had to fetch my laptop to make it work. As I'm going through the steps, the lead Apple Tech Guru looks at me and says
        'Reminds me of the first 3 years of OS X'

        I almost fell over laughing. It hasn't even been a year.

        Here is hoping MS can put it together faster then Apple did.
        • Really IS reminiscent of Mac

          I'm a Mac AND PC guy, and I've yet to see a single Vista complaint that Mac guys haven't lived through, or aren't still dealing with. Not evaluating the severity of the problems in each place, or trying to start a platform war. Indeed, the point is that things are more or less the same all over.

          Vista's a resource hog -- not on my Intel Mac. :-) Runs just fine. I see the problem more on older machines...which in the Mac world are no more capable of running OS X. New OSes work better with new machines.

          Permissions are confusing and annoying -- can be true on both. Can't install anything on Mac without permission. Can be easy to lock yourself out. "Super User" required for much fun stuff, yet poorly documented by Apple. Rebuilding permissions is a common experience on Mac that has no parallel on PC.

          Drivers aren't ready -- BIG problem on Mac, multiple times. X was bad enough. 10.2 was a trainwreck until 10.2.1, 10.4 required video drivers to be rewritten -- after the fact 00 and drivers and app updates for Intel architecture were often a year-ish away for such major vendors as Adobe...which was ready for Vista the day it shipped.

          I could go on, but the point is that I don't see *anything* in the Vista transition that hasn't happened before, including on Mac. Every update ALWAYS has trade-offs. Always been true, always will be. And again, no comment on whether the situation is tolerable for anyone at any point in this....but none of this is new. We'll all live to tell the tale.
          • I agree but...

            ...I also think the current situation where an upgrade/SP has such an impact is getting unacceptable. I realize this situation arose due to the evolution of the PC (and Macintosh). Now that Microsoft (and Apple) have laid the foundation with their latest operating systems they need to focus more on evolutionary instead of revolutionary changes. I was disappointed to hear Microsoft announce they would be releasing a major version of Windows every four years. This will just continue the current situation we have today.
          • Coexistence

            I use and own both platforms as well. I have no intention of starting a platform
            war. I'm lobbying for technological coexistence, and believe that in the face of
            past antitrust issues, some affirmative action is called for. It just so happens, that
            in the wake of a monopolist, constructive criticism takes the form of "vote with
            your dollars, use the other guy, and strike a better balance".

            Feel free to disagree, but a company with a fraction of the budget, a fraction of
            the manpower, and a fraction of the market share had managed to put out a next
            generation OS 7 years ago. It ran on meagre specs and offered legacy emulation.
            Fast forward and OSX is now stable and mature. It's the basis for iPhone, and as of
            Next Wednesday, the iPod. Leopard will be out long before SP1 and raise the bar
            higher. Consumer approval is the highest in the industry. Switchers don't go back.

            Even with this, Apple is just a foil in the argument. They are important only as a
            player in an open market, and an incubator for both tech and other business. They
            are not part of broad licensing, therefore not part of the platform economy. They

            The "computers are all the same mantra" sounds like sage wisdom because it's
            true to a point. Then past that point it's not. Past that point, it's pure reductionist
            nonsense. Design, engineering, business models and strategies are all too
            complex to dismiss with a platitude. We should be endorsing excellence in this
            important area, not bargain hunting for popcorn prizes. We, as consumers
            establish the criteria by which computing evolves. We've made huge mistakes and
            the progress of technology has been held up. If we'd endorsed a truly competitive
            and open market, we'd be much further ahead. The conceit of open architecture
            was that it recovered efficiency from homogeneity. The reality is it allowed an
            explosion of complexity. We chose interdependency over interoperability because
            we thought this was another VHS vs Beta war. It's not a war. It's human evolution.
            These are not stupid passive appliances. These are smart, active, extensions of a
            human mind.

            Start thinking beyond petty hair splitting. We have to start endorsing performance
            and merit, not cash-back coupons and coercion.
            Harry Bardal
          • MS release their NextGen OS in 1993

            It was called Windows NT 3.1. It too ran on meagre specs and offered legacy emulation.

            As for Apple, they couldn't even write their own. They had to buy OS X.
          • Brilliant

            NT 3.1? Are you recommending it over Vista, or are you just giving me a "history

            Apple had to buy OSX. Absolutely true. It came with Steve Jobs and Avadis
            Tevanian. Quite a bargain for a poor struggling company with not much money. Is
            the fact that they bought it an indictment of Apple? You imply that it is. You imply
            that an OS derived from open sources is a bad thing. Maybe you object to it being
            further monetized with the addition proprietary tech? No, I don't suppose you
            could object to that... could you. Read the link below and tell me if you still think
            Apple is talentless, or if they ever lacked talent, that has a bearing today. The fact
            is, NEXT assets were either on the open market for Microsoft to acquire, or they
            were a "limited offer" from Jobs to the company that ditched him years ago.
            Microsoft was either negligent for not snapping NEXT up, or their money wasn't
            going to be good enough at any price. So pick one of the two following attributes
            for Apple. lucky, or insightful. And pick one of the following two attributes for
            Microsoft, negligent, or ostracized.

            While you pursue this brilliant line of reasoning, you'd do us a favor to let us know
            why the wealthy Microsoft doesn't just buy poor Apple, or how their Unix imitation
            is a sign of "ground-up" innovative thinking.

            Harry Bardal
          • Giving you a history lesson.

            Not sure how you got the idea I would be recommending it over Vista.
          • That's so funny, I must comment at this late date

            MS had to buy (hire away) the guys who wrote the NT filesystem. What's the difference?
        • Except that

          Apple shipped a copy of OS9 on every Mac so you could continue to use everything you had. All macs shipped through 2004 gave you the choice of booting into 9 or X, or running 9 under the Classic mode - which works superbly. Exacrly ZERO money was REQUIRED for upgrading apps, etc.

          If you work graphics you know that Quark 6, the first OSx compatible version, didn't ship till latter 2003, the same as 10.3. That is also the ship time of Indesign 3, the first really good version.

          Because of the above, the vast majority of graphics folks didn't go to OSX till 10.3
  • Reminicient of XP service pack 2

    The general consensus today is that SP2 was the best thing to happen for XP. But when it was first released, many applications compatibility were broken. A lot of businesses refused to update (as did many tech heads) simply because the software they used would break. (A lot of that software was poorly written to begin with.)

    I personally believe that a lot of people are over reacting to this news. Microsoft is at least being candid about the issue and is going to compile a list of software that may break. If this is what it takes to fix some of the issues with Vista itself, then I for one am all for it.

    I dual boot Linux with Vista and I have seen this exact same thing happen in Linux because of a bug fix. (I like to distro hop but right now it is Debian Etch.) The responsibility of application compatibility is both the responsibility of the OS maker and the publisher of third party applications. The application makers need to pay attention this time and have their patches and fixes ready for when SP1 goes gold.
    • I'll call your hand on that one

      Just so happens I use Debian Etch myself.

      Please post details of the "exact same thing" you've "seen happen" in Linux that you did in Vista?

      I'll believe it when I see it. Otherwise, your claim is simply FUD to me.
      Ole Man
      • I use Debian for a reason

        Suse, Ubuntu and most of the other major distros have a frequent history with this issue. I have yet to run into it on Debian. But then again Debian has a release when it's ready policy that the others don't follow.

        Debian also does not put bleeding edge technology into it's stable releases as other distros do.
        • Debian gives you a choice

          You can use a proven stable version or the
          latest bleeding edge Beta version. They have
          a weekly build and even a daily build
          download, so you can always be on the
          extreme bleeding edge, if that's what you
          want. Of course, all updates are handed down
          daily, automatically, so you don't have to
          download the daily build to stay up to snuff
          and on the bleeding edge.

          You must not have used it too much, or you
          would have known.
          Ole Man
          • Don't Patronize Me.

            I have known about the Testing and Unstable branches for years. We are talking about STABLE releases here. You obviously lack reading comprehension if you are unable to figure that out.
          • Consider yourself

            unpatronized, and unbelievable, too.

            You aint blowing smoke at me. Do not
            instruct me as to Debian
            capabilities. I am running five
            different builds now, and typing this
            from one of them.
            Ole Man
  • [Link] :)

    Microsoft Reveals Windows Vista SP1 Will Install XP