Microsoft has published a list of programs which will not work or will suffer from reduced functionality after the installation of Vista SP1.
The list of programs is mostly composed of security applications, such as Trend Micro Internet Security 2008. However, programs such as the New York Times reader also feature on the list. Users are advised to install updates from the application vendor to fix the problem.
"Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) contains many security, reliability, and feature updates for Windows Vista. A program may experience a loss of functionality after you install Windows Vista SP1. However, most programs will continue to work as expected after you install Windows Vista SP1," the company said.
The list is not considered to be comprehensive, and Microsoft has asked users who encounter problems with other applications to first restart their PC and, if they still encounter problems, to install a newer version of the program or contact the software vendor.
Without SP1 incompatibilities, Microsoft Vista is already facing an ingrained perception by enterprise users of incompatibility with old systems, analyst house IBRS advisor Joseph Sweeney said.
Issues of back compatibility require regression testing on old applications, making any deployment very painful to do in one install, he said. "In theory you only have to fix it once and you should be able to deploy it across your whole environment, but many organisations do not have a highly automated deployment."
The problems with SP1 will only make backwards compatibility issues worse, he said, especially since many companies have been waiting to deploy the operating system until the release of the Service Pack.
The positive thing about Vista, he said, has been that organisations are stepping back and looking at their deployment methods. Because the desktop market is maturing, the trend would have happened anyway, he said, but Vista's problems have acted like a catalyst.