Microsoft hones its internal sales pitch for Vista Service Pack 1

Microsoft hones its internal sales pitch for Vista Service Pack 1

Summary: 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. But internally, it's a different story.


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?

Microsoft hones its internal sales pitch for Vista Service Pack 1Externally, 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?

 (I want 2 be a new improved model #1. Image by easily distracted. CC 2.0)


Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows


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).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Terms of being a participant ....

    ... prevent making such claims. Mary Jo you should know that!
    • Like, that's ever stopped anyone... n/t

  • RE: Microsoft hones its internal sales pitch for Vista Service Pack 1

    I have SP1 and have noted great performance boost.
  • RE: Microsoft hones its internal sales pitch for Vista Service Pack 1

    Sorry MS, you lost me and everyone else I can influence. I was a good drone and purchased 3 upgrades for my two home machines and laptop. Now none run Vista and I eat the cost. Moved to a MAC.

    Look at what they are fixing (and what should never had made it out the door):

    1. Four (count them, four) prompts to rename a folder.
    2. A simple task of copying files (like that has never been done before Vista).

    Face it, they sent Vista out way to early just to save face. And now they are paying for that mistake.

    Flame away, Chris.
    • Wow, I should move to OS X then!

      [i]1. Four (count them, four) prompts to rename a folder.[/i]

      Considering I rename system folders about once a minute, I should see huge productivity gains with OS X! < / sarcasm >

      There are no prompts to rename folders you have rights to (like the folders under "My Documents"). If you [b]do[/b] find yourself renaming system folders a lot, you can always do what you are [b]forced[/b] to do under OS X and Linux: switch to the administrator account before renaming the folder.

      [i]2. A simple task of copying files (like that has never been done before Vista).[/i]

      Umm, if you move files on a regular basis, OS X is [b]not[/b] the OS for you. Turns out that you often lose all your data when you move files. Talk about a show stopper!!

      snicker, smirk :)
      • The usual b*ll*x from the usual suspect

        Are you a thief, NonZealot? Vista thinks so. Have you stumped up the extra cash for the hardware you'll need to run Vista's thief-checking routines? YOu'll need more RAM and a beefy processor, to make sure your thieving ways are caught in a timely fashion by Microsoft's state of the art thief-detecting OS, Vista.

        What's truly telling is that the parts of Vista which detect whether the thieving Vista user has started stealing premium content yet, are fully operational. That functionality wasn't shipped out semi-working, oh no! It's important to Microsoft's partners that the thief catching sub-systems (and all Vista users are thieves, as Microsoft well know) was fully operational. Functionality which the thieving Vista user might rely on for their other work (in between the thieving of DRM protected content which they are notorious for) doesn't matter. It can be shipped out at leisure. What matters is that the thieving Vista users are locked down good & tight, so that when they start thieving, Vista can leap in and close down the graphics subsystem. State of the art anti-thieving OS, that's Vista. The rest is just windows dressing.
        • I'll take Windows DRM any day over OS X's DRM

          [i]Have you stumped up the extra cash for the hardware you'll need to run Vista's thief-checking routines?[/i]

          Yes, and it wasn't very expensive, [b]much[/b] less expensive than the hardware that Apple's DRM forces me to buy.

          So what is the moral of the story? If you don't want to pay for the hard work of content producers around the world and your moral compass allows you to feel good about yourself while you are stealing, Vista is not the OS for you. If you don't want to overpay for inferior hardware, OS X is not the OS for you. Decide what is most important to you and choose your OS based on that. I have and you'll find Linux and Windows in my home. I refuse to allow an OS manufacturer to dictate what hardware supplier I must buy from.
          • What OS X DRM ????

          • OS X is built on DRM

            What do you think prevents me from installing OS X on a fully capable Dell? Hackers have cracked OS X to disable the DRM check for the TPM DRM chip that you pay for in every Mac and whaddyaknow: OS X runs on a Dell. That DRM is far more restrictive to me than anything in Vista since the DRM in Vista doesn't prevent me from doing anything I want to do. OS X's DRM, on the other hand, is crippling to those who refuse to give their OS manufacturer the ability to dictate which hardware manufacturer they must buy from. If you enjoy being told who you [b]must[/b] buy your computer from and you don't mind paying $2,000 for $1,000 worth of computer parts, buy OS X! If you prefer to think for yourself though, OS X is a terrible choice.
          • THE TPM Chip has nothing to do with it...

            It has to do with EFI support (Bios replacement).
            Nice try though
          • Try disabling the TPM chip in your Mac

            [i]THE TPM Chip has nothing to do with it...[/i]

            See how far you get.

            [i]It has to do with EFI support (Bios replacement).[/i]

            Ahh, I see you fell for Apple's lies. That's okay, you aren't alone. There are EFI emulators for BIOS systems but that isn't enough. Those who have cracked OS X needed to disable all checks for the TPM DRM chip or OS X wouldn't run. It has nothing to do with EFI. Apple's licensing forbids you to run OS X on a non Apple computer and they enforce that with their TPM DRM chip.
          • OSX wipes the floor with Windows

            I'd rather pay a little more for a stable OS and higher tech motherboard anyday. Yes, picking the OS for you can be a very personal choice. But OSX Leopard, on a user-experience level, makes Vista look like an archaeological find in the Mohave Desert.
          • To 3dTodd: "higher Tech motherboard?"

            I guess Big Brother Jobs knows best because he has ALL the latest and bestest technologies available to his Apple sheep.

            Yes, all the other motherboard manufacturers in the world pale in comparison to Apple's tech dominance and intellectual superiority.

            Thanks. You gave me a good laugh
          • Agreed...

            I've looked at the hardware a Mac runs on... I can buy a system that's several times better than a Mac and paid roughly the same price for it.

            Thanks, but if I want to pay $4,000 for a system, I want to get the best hardware for my money, and I'm not getting a Mac, that's for sure.
          • Higher tech Mobo???

            Dude! It's a Dell!

            Same company makes 'em both, Foxconn.

            A higher tech board would be from someone like Asus. Or, MSI. Or... Wait. That's gonna be a long list of or's.
            Dr. John
          • O h my bad, higher tech meant the little Apple sign on it

            I'll stick with my crappy Asus and EVGA boards.
            They are so horrible.
            I cry myself to sleep every night
          • TPM is not used in the Mac

            Looking up TPM on WikiPedia I came acroos this information:

            [b]A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is a microcontroller that stores secured information. It was thought that Intel Macintoshes use the chip to prevent Mac OS X from running on non-Apple PCs. However, Amit Singh has claimed that the TPM is not used by Apple and is in fact absent from recent Intel Apple computers. TPM technology is considered controversial by some users due to its presumed role in future DRM technologies, but to date Apple seems to have chosen not to implement its functions.[/b]

            Now here is how Apple prevents MacOS X from being installed on non-Apple hardware. The method used involves a kernel extension:

            [b]Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext

            Dont Steal Mac OS X.kext is a file present in Intel-capable versions of the Mac OS X Operating System requesting that users of Mac OS X not "steal" it. Currently the extension is only included with the version of OS X that runs on the Intel Core processor family and is located at /System/Library/Extensions on the volume containing the operating system. The extension contains a kernel function called page_transform() which performs AES decryption of "apple-protected" programs. A Mac OS X system which is missing this extension, or a system where the extension has determined it's not running on Apple hardware, will be missing this decryption capability, and as a result will not be able to run the Apple-restricted binaries Dock, Finder, loginwindow, SystemUIServer, mds, ATSServer, translate or translated.[/b]

            I went into the MacOS X System->Library->Extensions and did a get info in the kernel extension "Dont Steal Mac OS X" and found this bit of information:

            [b]The purpose of this Apple software is to protect apple copyrighted materials from unauthorized copying and use. You may not copy, modify, reverse engineer, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, transfer or redistribute this file, in whole or in part. If you have obtained a copy of this Apple software and do not have a valid license from Apple Computer to use it, please immediately destroy or delete it from your computer.[/b]

            So there. Apple does not include a TPM Chip in their hardware, especially their MacIntoshes. MacOS X is prevented from being installed on non-Apple hardware by means of a kernel extension.
          • TPM or not, it's still DRM...

            First of all, I wouldn't take a listing in Wikipedia as gospel.
            But for the sake of argument I'll accept Apple makes no use of the TPM chip installed on its systems...
            They still want to dictate what hardware their OS runs on, which was the point NZ was making. So what's the difference?
        • Such an eloquent description of Vista

          I have not seen, until now!
          Ole Man
        • Thank you for the accurate description ...

          ... of your post contained in your title. I too found your post to be the usual b*ll*x from the usual suspect. You spouted more b*ll*x in that single post then the average person does in a life time. Your mother must be so proud!