Accounted for: The five mystery Vista updates to be added to SP1

Accounted for: The five mystery Vista updates to be added to SP1

Summary: When Microsoft finally rolled out the beta of its Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 at the end of September, a new element of mystery was introduced. Microsoft officials said they were going to test simultaneously five additional reliability fixes that were not part of the SP1 beta -- but that the team ultimately planned to add into SP1 before it shipped in early 2008. Now we know what those five are.

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Note: This post was updated on October 5 to clarify exactly what these Vista updates are and how they will be rolled out. 

When Microsoft finally rolled out the beta of its Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 at the end of September, a new element of mystery was introduced. Microsoft officials said they were going to test simultaneously five additional reliability fixes that were not part of the SP1 beta -- but that the team ultimately planned to add into SP1 before it shipped in early 2008.

Accounted for: The five mystery Vista updates to be added to SP1

(While Microsoft's original posting to the Vista team blog made it sound as though these updates were not part of the Vista SP1 beta, this is not the case. These five are already in the beta. So if you are beta testing SP1, you've already got these five. If you are not a beta tester and you are using the Vista RTM bits only, these five will be new to you. In either case, these five updates will be part of SP1 final, Microsoft officials clarified on October 5. )

As of today, we now know what the five additional updates are. Microsoft rolled out one of them on September 27 and delivered the rest of them over the past couple of days. All are now available on the Microsoft Download Center. Microsoft also plans to push the five out independently, via Windows Update, at some unspecified future time, officials said.

The five:

  • An MSXML Reliability Update (KB 941833, released to Download Center on 9/27). It is designed to resolves reliability and application compatibility issues in Microsoft XML Core Service 4.0 Service Pack 2, the Softies said.
  • A comprehnsive reliability, compatibility and stability update (KB 941649). It addresses everything from battery life to startup time of the operating system.
  • A fix pack for Windows Media Player 11 (KB 941651), which will "improve the reliability of Windows Media Player 11 for Windows Vista in certain scenarios."
  • A USB update (KB 941600) which "resolves some reliability issues in the USB core components on the Windows Vista operating system."
  • A cumulative update for Windows Media Center (KB 941229), addressing a variety of bugs in the Home Premium and Ultimate SKUs.

These five reliability and stability updates complement the two Vista mega-fixpacks that Microsoft rolled out this past summer. Those two were the reliability/performance pack (KB 938194) and the compatibility and stability pack (KB 938979). These two packs already are part of the Vista SP1 beta build Microsoft rolled out to 12,000 testers late last month.

Microsoft is still telling folks there's no need to wait for SP1 to deploy Vista. Even though Microsoft has been dilligent about rolling out fixes when ready, rather than holding them until the final SP1 due date, if I were an IT administrator, I think I would just wait for the final, catch-all update....

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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55 comments
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  • It almost seems like...

    They are trying to show that you can get "as-worthy" updates via Windows Updates on an incremental basis, almost as if they didn't have plans or want to have plans to ever develop Service Packs any more. More proof over at PC World:

    "Mike Nash, the Microsoft executive who leads Windows product management, was the latest to brag about Windows Update's prowess in keeping Vista running smoothly. 'The really important updates we can release with Windows Update, and the need for a service pack is actually reduced,' he said."
    mario.albertico
    • that's old news

      Heard that before, but it's not feasible. Service packs or rollups will always need to deployed. No self respecting IT admin is going to waste time downloading or pushing out hundreds of indivdual hotfixes, when they can deploy one package that takes care of a majority of them in one fell swoop or that can be more easily slipstreamed into new cdroms or deployment packages.
      Khyron
    • Reliability

      I find it interesting that in the last 20 years software updates have always been bugfixes and patches. Now with vista ans the aid of a little 1984 newspeak, we have "reliability updates

      Vista certainly needs it. Today a small power glitch caused my dsl router to reset. This is also the DHCP server for my home net. The follwoing was affected. Suse10.2 and SLED 10 desktops reaquired their IP address and carried on as normal. Vista dropped it's IP and wouldn't automatically reaquire. Disconnect ethernet and reconnect to force reaquisition of an address. Address, route and mask all aquired correctly, but vista would not route out of the local subnet. Reboot. All OK.
      Yup, needs som reliability work. Oh, isn't the IP stack in Vista a ground up rewrite? They should have stuck with the stack they stole from BSD.
      chromeronin
  • Does this include

    I wonder if Microsoft will put in an update in SP1 that eliminates the memory leak in Windows Media Player?!?
    Doink
    • Memory leak - what about crashing?

      Memory leak I can live with, since I reboot daily. But what really annoys me is that if I am playing something in windows media player (I do not like the new UI, btw - way too complicated for what it needs to do) and then hit the Stop button on the screen, it crashes the player entirely. Grrrr.
      maus_69
      • Crash/Stop... what's the diff?

        "But what really annoys me is that if I am playing something in windows media player (I do not like the new UI, btw - way too complicated for what it needs to do) and then hit the Stop button on the screen, it crashes the player entirely. Grrrr."
        Hey, it stops the player, doesn't it? Whatcha complaining about? It's a VISTA/MediaPlayer FEATURE!
        NoCalDrummer
  • Please say BSE is fixed

    The Basic Filtering Engine messing up my internet connection has gotten old. Please, please.
    Bill4
    • Oops...Base Filtering Engine.

      NT
      Bill4
  • Figures

    The only update that really caught my eye, the "Comprehensive reliability, compatibility, and stability" update only applies to x64 versions of Vista. Oh well. A fix is a fix I suppose.
    Frabba
    • ! WRONG ! x86 is installed and running on my machine (an x86 version of U

      please check your facts before you blah blah blah!
      Mujibahr
      • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

        You're so adamant, it is a shame I have no idea what you're trying to say.
        Michael Of Atlanta
      • Who needs to check their facts?

        I'm waiting for the part where you post your facts to go against mine.

        Update for Windows Vista for [b]x64-based Systems[/b] (KB941649)

        Supported Operating Systems: Windows Vista Business [b]64-bit[/b] edition; Windows Vista Enterprise [b]64-bit edition[/b]; Windows Vista Home Basic [b]64-bit edition[/b]; Windows Vista Home Premium [b]64-bit edition[/b]; Windows Vista Ultimate [b]64-bit edition[/b]


        The whole point of my comment was that I was [i]hoping[/i] that these reliability gains etc etc would apply across the board, and not just to the 64 bit systems. As Microsoft's website clearly states, it does not.
        Frabba
        • Here is the link

          http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e3992046-32b9-4a0d-9e02-acba698aa675&DisplayLang=en
          Mujibahr
  • Waffle House

    Mary Jo - I look forward to your tall tales of Microsoft's superiority while you're serving me breakfast at Waffle House in the near future.
    pvhastings
    • *rolls his eyes*

      all she did was talk about the updates coming out. You REALLY need a stick removed from your derrier
      ivanotter
      • He can't be too much of a high roller...

        ...to be frequenting Waffle House.
        Michael Of Atlanta
  • You [don't] get what you pay for

    Ah just let the droids pay and suffer. They don't know any better, and will defend the little that they do to the hilt.
    fr0thy
  • RE: Accounted for: The five mystery Vista updates to be added to SP1

    All fine and dandy, except when I run Vista sometimes I'm reminded of the "good ole days" of Windows 95/98. Installed on a very cabable machine, Vista crashes with a horrific regularity.
    cmpsalvestrini
    • Must be you...

      Sounda biting? Not meant to be, but i have a Vista machine, running games and torrent (etc) that has not crashed on me YET. I dunno, maybe it is something "I" am doing.
      ivanotter
      • The argument...

        that "since I've never had a crash, if anyone else has one it must be their fault" is really pathetic. Is you PC configured exactly the same way as his? Do you have the same hardware? Do you have all the same software installed, including both Microsoft and non-Microsoft stuff? Of course you don't. Maybe you don't have a SQL Server that was hit by the Slammer worm a few years back, but that bears absolutely no relevance on whether or not there was a bug in SQL Server that allowed Slammer to propogate so quickly that it literally made a significant impact on global Internet traffic. There have been some well documented bugs in Vista...if there were none, nobody would even be talking about a service pack.
        jasonp@...