Microsoft sets date for Vista SP1 beta

Microsoft sets date for Vista SP1 beta

Summary: The Service Pack 1 set of fixes and enhancements for WIndows Vista will arrive by the end of this year, Microsoft said in a US antitrust-related court filing yesterday. While it's not a firm date, at least it's an indication of how long the wait will be for those businesses holding out for SP1 before upgrading.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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The Service Pack 1 set of fixes and enhancements for WIndows Vista will arrive by the end of this year, Microsoft said in a US antitrust-related court filing yesterday. While it's not a firm date, at least it's an indication of how long the wait will be for those businesses holding out for SP1 before upgrading.

One of the changes planned for the service pack are tweaks to Vista's search feature, in response to Google criticism. Here's the PDF of the full filing, if you want to know more: PDF.

Topic: Tech Industry

Karen Friar

About Karen Friar

Karen Friar is news editor for ZDNet in the UK, based in London. She started out in film journalism in San Francisco, before making the switch to tech coverage at ZDNet.com. Next came a move to CNET News.com, where she looked after west coast coverage of business technology, and finally a return to her homeland with ZDNet UK.

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  • Microsoft sets date for Vista SP1 beta

    There is no cure for Vista. It carries a terminal illness of the NewTechnology source tree. It started when the MS programmers were ordered to insert image and sound drivers into the kernel of Windows NT 3.5 so that Windows NT 4.0 could have the same bells and whistles as Windows 98, while being more stable and reliable than the DOS-based, earlier operating systems. That introduced many bugs; some of them caused memory leaks, and others caused resource allocation deadlocks. Those are the most easily produced bugs when one codes for sounds and images, and are hard to identify and neutralize.

    Later, MS decided to tolerate the imperfections in the OS design of NT in order to maintain legacy applications untouched, and the purposely incompatibility with the rest of the world. If MS had redesigned the OS on that occasion, companies such as Adobe, Macromedia and Quicken might drift away from its exclusive control. It was unavoidable to guarantee its survival in the market. The programmers had to write hundreds of software patches for Windows 2000 to behave like a legitimate multiuser OS, making the source tree grow from 10 mlsc (million lines of source code) to about 30 mlsc. By doing that, the programmers introduced many bugs and lost global vision of what they were doing, due to the sheer size of the code.

    When Windows 2000 features were deemed unsatisfactory for home users, MS added about 15 mlsc to produce Windows XP. So, Windows XP is a software bazaar, instead of a refined cathedral architecture as it was supposed to be, according to Eric Raymond's <i>Cathedral and Bazaar</i> essay. Whenever I write about these events, no MS advocate ever refuted them. Must be because the truth must very close, and MS fears the truth, since its huge commercial success is based on marketing stunts and deceit.

    To produce Windows Vista, MS apparently dumped part of the earlier code and rewrote it with DRM built in, always in a hurry. Windows Vista code is estimated to have about 50 mlsc total. Imagine how many bugs there might be in Vista if, according to software engineering, the number of bugs grows exponentially, with a positive exponent, with the size of the source code. And fatal bugs are likely to show up at the most inconvenient moments, according to Murphy's law.

    Perhaps the MS testing team uncovered some hairy bugs, and now the developer team is fearful that things will get nastier if they write a service pack that might make the situation even worse. Whenever one fixes a bug, in a runaway situation like this, many bugs may be added. The scary thing now is that there is nothing one can do. It is like having built a house with unprotected wooden pillars and trusses that have been all compromised by bugs. It is dangerous to stay in it, and the only way out is to rebuild it from scratch.
    mariomiy-feb95
  • Microsoft sets date for Vista SP1 beta

    I remembered I had made a comment in this thread before, yet I found "0 comments". The comment counting device is not working.
    mariomiy-feb95
  • Microsoft sets date for Vista SP1 beta

    Now it says "2 comments". Wonder why it was zero before... But I feel like talking to myself in the desert. Nobody reads this section?
    mariomiy-feb95
  • Microsoft sets date for Vista SP1 beta

    I believe we'll be uncovering nasty bugs in Vista for years, and I think you're right to point out the potential for the service pack to make things worse. I also believe there is a fundamental truth to software development that often gets overlooked when people (particularly Steve Ballmer) compare proprietary code and open source code. Namely, that if you motivate developers with money (as is often the case with proprietary software development) you're addressing a motivation that comes pretty low down Maslow's heirarcy of needs. The open source model tends to address higher motivations of developers: social, self-esteem, status. Obviously it's not as clear-cut as this, but I do see in general a very different attitiude to quality from those people who do a job purely for money and those who do it to satisfy some higher need.

    Anyway,

    We have fixed the comment count bug - I'm not sure where it came from but we think we've hammered it.

    And,

    Traffic is slowly but steadily growing in our community section, and we're looking at ways of speeding up the increase, by making all latest blogs much easier to find. We're aware that we could have made some elements of navigation easier to follow - any experience, good or bad - that you have to share are very valuable in this respect.

    matt
    Lonester
  • Microsoft sets date for Vista SP1 beta

    This Service Pack is expected to include an entirely new kernel (the root code of the operating system) that will bring it into line with its more secure big sister Windows Server, when the next version of that, is released at the same time
    HappyAndyk