In association with heise online

18 February 2008, 10:17

Steer clear of Vista Service Pack, tests warn

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The first Service Pack for Windows Vista is already available on the internet, but users should not take any chances yet, advises heise online's German sister publication c't magazine in its current issue. Even Microsoft admits that the current version still struggles with certain pre-installed drivers which the software giant wants to replace via Auto-Update in the coming weeks.

For partial updates to Windows Vista, users received regular patches via the automatic update service last year. However, many can't wait to receive a more comprehensive upgrade of the operating system – the first Service Pack, which is expected to eliminate most if not all teething troubles.

A test by c't magazine revealed several improvements upon installation of the Service Pack: Vista is faster when copying data, and the system also speeds up other tasks. In addition, Microsoft has reduced the number of security alerts, which have been criticised for making users click without thinking. Many programs now work which didn't run with the original version, although not all of them. GoLive 2, for example, switches off its transparent Aero interface, and the the game Fahrenheit game can't be started at all.

Despite the Service Pack, Vista still doesn't correctly handle backup archives which were generated with its predecessor Windows XP. There is no noticeable improvement to notebook battery life either. When tested one notebook only ran for half as long as when running Windows XP. Eight further notebooks didn't run differently in the c't test. There even were some entirely new issues, for example with virus scanners. Norton Antivirus produces error messages, and Bitdefender Antivirus can't be installed any more at all.


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