Microsoft's long awaited update to Windows Vista is out-- SP1. Service Pack 1 contains numerous bug fixes and a few performance enhancements, according to Microsoft. You might just see it on Windows Update on your Vista machine, though we tried with 3 up-to-date Vista machines, including 2 identical notebooks, and Windows Update only bestowed SP1 to one of them.
The update was a modest 68 megs and downloaded quickly over a fast connection. The installation, including a 3 part process after the updater prompts you to restart, can take up to 1 hour!
The verdict: so far we can't tell much of a difference. Granted it will take Vista a while to re-index and settle down, so we're cautiously optimistic. One thing we have noticed on our notebook is that the projected battery life is about 15% longer. And our Realtek HD sound driver stopped working (downloading and installing the driver from RealTek's website fixed that pronto).
For those who have several Vista 32 bit machines to update or are too impatient to wait for Windows Update, the full download available on
Microsoft's web site here. This is a 435 meg, 5 western language installer, just to warn you. The version served through Windows Update is much smaller.
Update, March 19: We've now installed Vista SP1 on 4 machines: a GSM and CDMA HTC Shift, a Sony Vaio SZ650, and the HP dv9000. The update took forever but went smoothly on all 4 machines with the exception of the afore mentioned Realtek HD audio driver issue on only 1 of the HTC Shift machines (weird). SP1 had no issues with the Vaio's NVIDIA drivers... maybe we just got lucky.